Legume consumption has been reported to induce beneficial effects on obesity-associated metabolic disorders, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully clarified. In the current work, pea (Pisum sativum
L.) seed meal proteins (albumins, legumins and vicilins) were isolated, submitted to a simulated gastrointestinal digestion, and the effects of their hydrolysates (pea albumins hydrolysates (PAH), pea legumins hydrolysates (PLH) and pea vicilin hydrolysates (PVH), respectively) on 3T3-L1 murine pre-adipocytes were investigated. The pea vicilin hydrolysate (PVH), but not native pea vicilins, increased lipid accumulation during adipocyte differentiation. PVH also increased the mRNA expression levels of the adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (aP2) and decreased that of pre-adipocyte factor-1 (Pref-1) (a pre-adipocyte marker gene), suggesting that PVH promotes adipocyte differentiation. Moreover, PVH induced adiponectin and insulin-responsive glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and stimulated glucose uptake. The expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a key regulator of adipocyte differentiation, were up-regulated in 3T3-L1 cells treated with PVH during adipocyte differentiation. Finally, PVH exhibited PPARγ ligand activity. Lactalbumin or other pea hydrolysates (PAH, PLH) did not exhibit such effects. These findings show that PVH stimulates adipocyte differentiation via, at least in part, the up-regulation of PPARγ expression levels and ligand activity. These effects of PVH might be relevant in the context of the beneficial health effects of legume consumption in obesity-associated metabolic disorders.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited