Extract of Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) stimulates 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation

Phytother Res. 2010 Nov;24(11):1592-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3180.


Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has long been used as a folk medicine due to its numerous biological functions such as antibacterial, antiallergic, antiinflammatory and antioxidative activities. In the present study, it was found that the I. obliquus hot water extract (IOWE) activated adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Even in the absence of adipogenic stimuli by insulin, the IOWE strongly induced adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. The major constituent of IOWE was glucose-rich polysaccharides with a molecular mass of 149 kDa. IOWE enhanced the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, increasing TG (triacylglycerol) accumulation that is critical for acquisition of the adipocyte phenotype, in a dose-dependent manner. IOWE stimulated gene expression of C/EBPα (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α) and PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors γ) during adipocyte differentiation, and induced the expression of PPARγ target genes such as aP2 (adipocyte protein 2), LPL (lipoprotein lipase) and CD36 (fatty acid translocase). Immunoblot analysis revealed that IOWE increased the expression of adipogenic makers such as PPARγ and GLUT4 (glucose transporter 4). The luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that IOWE did not exhibit PPARγ ligand activity. Although these results require further investigation, the ability of natural mushroom product to increase PPARγ transcriptional activities may be expected to be therapeutic targets for dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha
  • PPAR gamma