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Open AccessArticle

Ginsenoside Rg3 Induces Browning of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes by Activating AMPK Signaling

School of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The two authors contributed equally.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 427;
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Metabolic Dysfunction and Obesity)
Ginsenoside Rg3, one of the major components in Panax ginseng, has been reported to possess several therapeutic effects including anti-obesity properties. However, its effect on the browning of mature white adipocytes as well as the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, we suggested a novel role of Rg3 in the browning of mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes by upregulating browning-related gene expression. The browning effects of Rg3 on differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were evaluated by analyzing browning-related markers using quantitative PCR, immunoblotting, and immunostaining. In addition, the size and sum area of lipid droplets in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were measured using Oil-Red-O staining. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Rg3 dose-dependently induced the expression of browning-related genes such as Ucp1, Prdm16, Pgc1α, Cidea, and Dio2. Moreover, Rg3 induced the expression of beige fat-specific genes (CD137 and TMEM26) and lipid metabolism-associated genes (FASN, SREBP1, and MCAD), which indicated the activation of lipid metabolism by Rg3. We also demonstrated that activation of 5’ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is required for Rg3-mediated up-regulation of browning gene expression. Moreover, Rg3 inhibited the accumulation of lipid droplets and reduced the droplet size in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Taken together, this study identifies a novel role of Rg3 in browning of white adipocytes, as well as suggesting a potential mechanism of an anti-obesity effect of Panax ginseng. View Full-Text
Keywords: ginsenoside; Rg3; beige adipocytes; AMPK; browning effect; anti-obesity ginsenoside; Rg3; beige adipocytes; AMPK; browning effect; anti-obesity
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Kim, K.; Nam, K.H.; Yi, S.A.; Park, J.W.; Han, J.-W.; Lee, J. Ginsenoside Rg3 Induces Browning of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes by Activating AMPK Signaling. Nutrients 2020, 12, 427.

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