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J Food Sci. 2016 Mar;81(3):H786-93. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13226. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

Suppressive Effects of Barley β-Glucans with Different Molecular Weight on 3T3-L1 Adipocyte Differentiation.

Zhu Y1,2, Yao Y1, Gao Y1,3, Hu Y1, Shi Z1, Ren G1.

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Inst. of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, P. R. China.
Animal Science Unit, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Univ. of Liège, Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030, Gembloux, Belgium.
Qilu Univ. of Technology, Daxue Road, Western Univ, Science Park, Jinan, Shandong, 250353, P. R. China.


In this study, 2 β-glucans with different molecular weight were prepared and purified from hull-less barley bran. The aim was to evaluate their effects on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. Results showed that barley β-glucans inhibited the differentiation of 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes induced by differentiation medium in a dose-dependent manner, the suppressive effect of high-molecular-weight barley β-glucans (552 kDa, BGH) was stronger (P < 0.05) than that of low-molecular-weight barley β-glucan (32 kDa, BGL), evidenced by the significantly decrease (P < 0.05) of Oil-red O staining and intracellular triglyceride content in the mature adipocytes. Besides, gene expression analysis and Western Blot analysis revealed that both BGH and BGL inhibited the mRNA and protein levels of adipogenesis related transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) which are principal regulators of adipogenesis. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein expression levels of PPARγ target genes in adipose tissue including adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (ap2), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2), and glucose-transporter 4 (Glut4) in 3T3-L1 cells was also markedly downregulated (P < 0.05). These findings were anticipated to help develop barley β-glucans based functional food for the management of obesity.


3T3-L1 cells; C/EBPα; PPARγ; barley β-glucans

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