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Pharm Biol. 2011 Aug;49(8):775-83. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2010.547208. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

The anti-angiogenic herbal extracts Ob-X from Morus alba, Melissa officinalis, and Artemisia capillaris suppresses adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Mokwon University, Daejeon, Korea.



Growing adipose tissue is thought to require adipogenesis, angiogenesis, and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Close examination of developing adipose tissue microvasculature reveals that angiogenesis often precedes adipogenesis. Since our previous study demonstrated that Ob-X, the anti-angiogenic herbal composition composed of Melissa officinalis L. (Labiatae), Morus alba L. (Moraceae), and Artemisia capillaris Thunb. (Compositae), reduced adipose tissue mass in obese mice, we hypothesized that adipogenesis can be inhibited by Ob-X.


To investigate the effects of the anti-angiogenic herbal extracts Ob-X on adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.


After differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with Ob-X, we studied the effects of Ob-X on triglyceride accumulation and expression of genes involved in adipogenesis, angiogenesis, and ECM remodeling.


Treatment of cells with Ob-X inhibited lipid accumulation and adipocyte-specific gene expression caused by troglitazone or monocyte differentiation-inducing (MDI) mix. Ob-X reduced mRNA levels of angiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factor-A, -B, -C, -D, and fibroblast growth factor-2) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs; MMP-2 and MMP-9), whereas it increased mRNA levels of angiogenic inhibitors [(thrombospondin-1, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), and TIMP-2)] in differentiated cells. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities were also decreased in Ob-X-treated cells.


These results suggest that the anti-angiogenic herbal composition Ob-X inhibits differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes. These events may be mediated by changes in the expression of genes involved in lipogenesis, angiogenesis, and the MMP system. Thus, by reducing adipogenesis, anti-angiogenic Ob-X provides a possible therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of human obesity and its related disorders.

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