In this study, we elucidated the inhibitory effect of fucoidan from marine brown algae on the lipid accumulation in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes and its mechanism. The treatment of fucoidan in a dose-dependent manner was examined on lipid inhibition in 3T3-L1 cells by using Oil Red O staining. Fucoidan showed high lipid inhibition activity at 200 µg/mL concentration (P
< 0.001). Lipolytic activity in adipocytes is highly dependent on hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), which is one of the most important targets of lipolytic regulation. Here, we examined the biological response of fucoidan on the protein level of lipolysis pathway. The expressed protein levels of total hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and its activated form, phosphorylated-HSL were significantly increased at concentration of 200 µg/mL fucoidan. Furthermore, insulin-induced 2-deoxy-D-[3
H] glucose uptake was decreased up to 51% in fucoidan-treated cells as compared to control. Since increase of HSL and p-HSL expression and decrease of glucose uptake into adipocytes are known to lead to stimulation of lipolysis, our results suggest that fucoidan reduces lipid accumulation by stimulating lipolysis. Therefore, these results suggest that fucoidan can be useful for the prevention or treatment of obesity due to its stimulatory lipolysis.