Recent studies have suggested that pattern recognition receptors, including inflammasomes and TLRs, in the innate immune system recognize various kinds of endogenous ligands and have critical roles in initiating or promoting obesity‐associated chronic inflammation. These findings have provided new therapeutic strategies based on regulation of the innate immune system. With the rapid advancement of novel technologies and the increased research on natural products, many new plant‐derived extracts and active compounds have been identified to exhibit anti‐inflammatory effects. Isoliquiritigenin (ILG) is a flavonoid derived from Glycyrrhiza uralensis with a chalcone structure. We have reported that ILG inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation resulting in the improvement of diet‐induced adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance. Furthermore, we have also demonstrated that ILG improves diet‐induced fibrosis in adipose tissue by inhibiting TLR4‐ and Mincle‐induced expression of fibrosis‐related genes in obese adipose tissue and macrophages. Thus, ILG can suppress two important dysfunctions of obesity, adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis by targeting innate immune sensors. Here we overview ILG as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of obesity‐associated diseases. We also summarize anti‐inflammatory actions of other constituents of licorice.
Part of the book: Licorice Ingredients