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Exp Mol Med. 2006 Dec 31;38(6):599-605.

Berberine reduces the expression of adipogenic enzymes and inflammatory molecules of 3T3-L1 adipocyte.

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School of Life and Food Sciences, Handong Global University, Pohang 791-708, Korea.


Berberine (BBR), an isoquinoline alkaloid, has a wide range of pharmacological effects, yet its exact mechanism is unknown. In order to understand the anti-adipogenic effect of BBR, we studied the change of expression of several adipogenic enzymes of 3T3-L1 cells by BBR treatment. First, we measured the change of leptin and glycerol in the medium of 3T3-L1 cells treated with 1 micrometer, 5 micrometer and 10 micrometer concentrations of BBR. We also measured the changes of adipogenic and lipolytic factors of 3T3-L1. In 3T3-L1 cells, both leptin and adipogenic factors (SREBP-1c, C/EBP-alpha, PPAR-gamma, fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, acyl-CoA synthase and lipoprotein lipase) were reduced by BBR treatment. Glycerol secretion was increased, whereas expression of lipolytic enzymes (hormone-sensitive lipase and perilipin) mRNA was slightly decreased. Next, we measured the change of inflammation markers of 3T3-L1 cells by BBR treatment. This resulted in the down-regulation of mRNA level of inflammation markers such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, C- reactive protein and haptoglobin. Taken together, our data shows that BBR has both anti-adipogenic and anti-inflammatory effects on 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and the anti-adipogenic effect seems to be due to the down-regulation of adipogenic enzymes and transcription factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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