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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Mar;16(3):539-46. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.90. Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Enhanced effects of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) plus genistein on adipogenesis and apoptosis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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  • 1Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.



To investigate the ability of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) (D) and genistein (G), alone and in combination, to inhibit adipogenesis and induce apoptosis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.


3T3-L1 preadipocytes and mature adipocytes were incubated with various concentrations of D and G, alone and in combination, for 48 h. Viability was determined using the Cell Titer 96 Aqueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay. Post-confluent preadipocytes were incubated with D and G for up to 6 days during adipogenesis and lipid content was quantified by Nile Red dye; apoptosis was quantified by measurement of single-stranded DNA. Expression of adipocyte-specific proteins and VDR was analyzed by western blotting.


Combining D and G did not cause an enhanced effect on cell viability in either preadipocytes or mature adipocytes. In maturing preadipocytes, D at 0.5 nmol/l (D0.5) increased apoptosis by 47 +/- 10.25% (P < 0.05) and inhibited lipid accumulation by 28 +/- 10% (P < 0.001), while G at 25 micromol/l (G25) had no significant effect. However, D+G caused an enhanced apoptosis by 136 +/- 12.6% (P < 0.001) and enhanced inhibition of lipid accumulation by 82.46 +/- 2.95% (P < 0.001). Similarly, D0.5 alone decreased adipose-specific gene 422 (aP2) expression to 34.2 +/- 2.3% and increased VDR expression levels by 41.8 +/- 11% (P < 0.001), but G25 showed no effect. However, D0.5+G25 decreased aP2 expression to 52 +/- 4.2% (P < 0.05) and increased VDR expression levels by 131 +/- 14.5% (P < 0.0001).


These findings suggest that combining 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) with genistein results in an enhanced inhibition of lipid accumulation and induction of apoptosis in maturing 3T3-L1 preadipocytes.

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