Fucoxanthin exerts differing effects on 3T3-L1 cells according to differentiation stage and inhibits glucose uptake in mature adipocytes

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Jun 17;409(4):769-74. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.05.086. Epub 2011 May 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacology*


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • Srebf1 protein, mouse
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Xanthophylls
  • fucoxanthin
  • Glucose