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Life Sci. 2014 Apr 17;101(1-2):64-72. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.02.012. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Apigenin isolated from Daphne genkwa Siebold et Zucc. inhibits 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation through a modulation of mitotic clonal expansion.

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  • 1Functional Food Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Gangneung, Gangwon-do 210-340, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Functional Food Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Gangneung, Gangwon-do 210-340, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



Obesity develops when energy intake chronically exceeds total energy expenditure. We sought to assess whether the flavonoid-rich fraction of crude extracts from Daphne genkwa Siebold et Zuccarini (GFF) might inhibit adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells.


Cell viability of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes was assessed by MTT assays, and lipid accumulation was measured by Oil Red O. Adipogenesis related factors were checked by Western blot analysis. Flow cytometry was used to analyze the mitotic cell cycle during the mitotic clonal expansion phase.


Among five flavonoids isolated from GFF, only apigenin potently inhibited the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. Apigenin reduced CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) α and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ levels. Apigenin-treated 3T3-L1 cells failed to undergo clonal expansion during the early phase of adipocyte differentiation. Apigenin arrested cell cycle progression at the G0/G1 phase. This effect was associated with a marked decrease in cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 expression, with the concomitant and sustained expression of p27(Kip1). In addition, apigenin inhibited the DNA-binding activity of C/EBPβ in differentiating 3T3-L1 cells by down-regulating the 35kDa isoform of C/EBPβ (liver-enriched activating protein) and up-regulating the expression of two different sets of C/EBP inhibitors: C/EBP homologous protein and the phospho-liver-enriched inhibitory protein isoform of C/EBPβ.


These findings suggest that apigenin can prevent 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation by the inhibition of the mitotic clonal expansion and the adipogenesis related factors and upregulation of the expression of multiple C/EBPβ inhibitors.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


3T3-L1; Apigenin; CCAAT/enhancer binding protein; Daphne genkwa Sieboldet et Zuccarini; Mitotic clonal expansion; Preadipocyte differentiation

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