Bioactive compounds such as polyphenols have increased in importance in recent years, and among them, resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) has generated great interest as an anti-obesity agent. Recent investigations have highlighted the importance of leptin signaling in lipid metabolism in peripheral organs. The aims of this study were (1) to investigate whether resveratrol can reduce fat accumulation in peripheral tissues by increasing their leptin sensitivity and (2) to identify which resveratrol-derived circulating metabolites are potentially involved in these metabolic effects. Serum leptin levels and the leptin signaling pathway were assessed in diet-induced obese rats. Moreover, serum metabolites of resveratrol were studied by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MSn). The daily consumption of 200 mg/kg of resveratrol, but not doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg, reduced body weight and fat accumulation in obese rats and restored leptin sensitivity in the periphery. These effects were due to increases in sirtuin 1 activity in the liver, leptin receptors in muscle and protection against endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress in adipose tissue. In general, the resveratrol metabolites associated with these beneficial effects were derived from both phase II and microbiota metabolism, although only those derived from microbiota increased proportionally with the administered dose of resveratrol. In conclusion, resveratrol reversed leptin resistance caused by diet-induced obesity in peripheral organs using tissue-specific mechanisms.
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