An active part of Artemisia sacrorum Ledeb. inhibits adipogenesis via the AMPK signaling pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Hai-Dan Yuan, Guang-Chun Piao
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2011, 27 (4): 531-6
Artemisia sacrorum Ledeb. (Compositae) (ASL) has long been used in Oriental folk medicine to treat diverse hepatic diseases. In this study, we investigated the effect of ASL on adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. ASL significantly suppressed 3T3-L1 differentiation in a concentration-dependent manner. A significant increase of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was observed when the cells were treated with ASL. Activation of AMPK was also demonstrated by measuring the phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, a substrate of AMPK. These effects were abolished by pre-treatment with the AMPK inhibitor, compound C. In addition, ASL down-regulated the adipogenesis-related gene expression of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP1c) and its target genes, such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects were abolished by pre-treatment with compound C. ASL significantly reduced the gene expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and of the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α (C/EBPα), two key transcription factors in adipogenesis. Meanwhile, adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (aP2) gene expression was also reduced in a concentration-dependent manner. These findings indicated that ASL exerts anti-adipogenic activity via AMPK activation and may act to prevent obesity.

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