Water-soluble extract of Pacific Krill prevents triglyceride accumulation in adipocytes by suppressing PPARγ and C/EBPα expression

PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21952. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021952. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Background: Pacific Krill (Euphausia pacifica) are small, red crustaceans, similar to shrimp, that flourish in the North Pacific and are eaten in Japan.

Methods and findings: We investigated the effect of a water-soluble extract of Pacific Krill on adipocytes and discovered that this extract suppressed triglyceride accumulation in adipocytes. Furthermore, the water-soluble extract of Pacific Krill suppressed the expression of two master regulators of adipocyte differentiation, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and CCAAT enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα). C/EBPβ promotes PPARγ and C/EBPα expression, but the water-soluble extract of Pacific Krill did not inhibit the expression of C/EBPβ or C/EBPβ-mediated transcriptional activation. The Pacific Krill extract was more effective than a PPARγ antagonist in suppressing PPARγ and C/EBPα expression.

Conclusions: These results indicated that the water-soluble extract of Pacific Krill was not simply a PPARγ antagonist, but that it prevented triglyceride accumulation in adipocytes by suppression of PPARγ and C/EBPα via a pathway that is independent of C/EBPβ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha / genetics
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Euphausiacea / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • PPAR gamma / antagonists & inhibitors
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Pacific Ocean
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Solubility / drug effects
  • Tissue Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Transcriptional Activation / drug effects
  • Triglycerides / metabolism*
  • Water / chemistry*


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Triglycerides
  • Water