Inhibitory effects of green tea catechin on the lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Phytother Res. 2009 Aug;23(8):1088-91. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2737.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of green tea (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on the depletion of accumulated fat in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Intracellular lipid accumulation was decreased significantly after 24 h of incubation with 10 microm EGCG, while the viability of adipocytes was reported to be unaffected. Under the same experimental conditions, the amount of glycerol released from cells into the medium was increased by 10 microm EGCG. The level of mRNA in the 3T3-L1 adipocytes was analysed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. EGCG notably increased the mRNA level of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), which catalyses the rate-limiting stage in hydrolysis of stored triacylglycerol to monoacylglycerol and free fatty acids. In conclusion, the experiment produced results which showed that green tea EGCG effectively depleted fat accumulation via the stimulation of lipolysis and increased HSL gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. These results may relate to the mechanism by which EGCG modulates lipolysis in adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate