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Open AccessArticle

Curcumin Attenuates Adipogenesis by Inducing Preadipocyte Apoptosis and Inhibiting Adipocyte Differentiation

Department of Bioscience Technology, College of Science, Chung-Yuan Christian University, Chung Li 32023, Taiwan
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan
College of Human Development and Health, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei 11219, Taiwan
Department of Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 11217, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2307;
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 28 September 2019
Patients with metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The principal risk factor for development of metabolic syndrome is obesity, defined as a state of pathological hyperplasia or/and hypertrophy of adipose tissue. The number of mature adipocytes is determined by adipocyte differentiation from preadipocytes. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of curcumin on adipogenesis and the underlying mechanism. To examine cell toxicity of curcumin, 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with 0–50 µM curcumin for 24, 48, or 72 h, then cell viability was measured using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. The effect of curcumin on the cell cycle was determined by flow cytometry. Curcumin-induced cell apoptosis was determined by the TUNEL assay and curcumin-induced caspase activation was measured by immunoblotting. The effect of curcumin on adipocyte differentiation was determined by measuring mitotic clonal expansion (MCE), expression of adipogenic transcription factors, and lipid accumulation. Results showed the viability of preadipocytes was significantly decreased by treatment with 30 µM curcumin, a concentration that caused apoptosis in preadipocytes, as assessed by the TUNEL assay, and caused activation of caspases 8, 9, and 3. A non-cytotoxic dose of curcumin (15 µM) inhibited MCE, downregulated the expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα, prevented differentiation medium-induced β-catenin downregulation, and decreased the lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In conclusion, our data show that curcumin can induce preadipocyte apoptosis and inhibit adipocyte differentiation, leading to suppression of adipogenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: curcumin; adipocytes; adipogenesis; apoptosis; mitotic clonal expansion; differentiation curcumin; adipocytes; adipogenesis; apoptosis; mitotic clonal expansion; differentiation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, L.-Y.; Chen, C.-W.; Chen, L.-K.; Chou, H.-Y.; Chang, C.-L.; Juan, C.-C. Curcumin Attenuates Adipogenesis by Inducing Preadipocyte Apoptosis and Inhibiting Adipocyte Differentiation. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2307.

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