Progression of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation is divided into early (days 0-2, D0-D2), intermediate (days 2-4, D2-D4), and late stages (day 4 onwards, D4-). In this study, we investigated the effects of fucoxanthin, isolated from the edible brown seaweed Petalonia binghamiae, on adipogenesis during the three differentiation stages of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. When fucoxanthin was applied during the early stage of differentiation (D0-D2), it promoted 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, as evidenced by increased triglyceride accumulation. At the molecular level, fucoxanthin increased protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP1c), and aP2, and adiponectin mRNA expression, in a dose-dependent manner. However, it reduced the expression of PPARγ, C/EBPα, and SREBP1c during the intermediate (D2-D4) and late stages (D4-D7) of differentiation. It also inhibited the uptake of glucose in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes by reducing the phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1). These results suggest that fucoxanthin exerts differing effects on 3T3-L1 cells of different differentiation stages and inhibits glucose uptake in mature adipocytes.
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