(+)-Episesamin inhibits adipogenesis and exerts anti-inflammatory effects in 3T3-L1 (pre)adipocytes by sustained Wnt signaling, down-regulation of PPARγ and induction of iNOS

Department of Gastroenterology, Infectiology and Rheumatology, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.79). 07/2012; 24(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.02.004
Source: PubMed


Obesity and its associated health risks still demand for effective therapeutic strategies. Drugs and compositions derived from Oriental medicine such as green tea polyphenols attract growing attention. Previously, an extract from the Japanese spice bush Lindera obtusiloba (L. obtusiloba) traditionally used for treatment of inflammation and prevention of liver damage was shown to inhibit adipogenesis. Aiming for the active principle of this extract (+)-episesamin was identified, isolated and applied in adipogenic research using 3T3-L1 (pre)adipocytes, an established cell line for studying adipogenesis. With an IC(50) of 10μM (+)-episesamin effectively reduced the growth of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and decreased hormone-induced 3T3-L1 differentiation as shown by reduced accumulation of intracellular lipid droplets and diminished protein expression of GLUT-4 and vascular endothelial growth factor. Mechanistically, the presence of (+)-episesamin during hormone-induced differentiation provoked a reduced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and β-catenin along with a reduced protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and a strongly increased protein expression of iNOS. Treatment of mature adipocytes with (+)-episesamin resulted in a reduction of intracellular stored lipid droplets and induced the proapoptotic enzymes caspases-3/-7. Besides interfering with adipogenesis, (+)-episesamin showed anti-inflammatory activity by counteracting the lipopolysaccharide- and tumor necrosis factor α-induced secretion of interleukin 6 by 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. In conclusion, (+)-episesamin seems to be the active drug in the L. obtusiloba extract being responsible for the inhibition of adipogenesis and, thus, should be evaluated as a novel potential complementary treatment for obesity.

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