Sulforaphane induced adipolysis via hormone sensitive lipase activation, regulated by AMPK signaling pathway

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Oct 5;426(4):492-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.08.107. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Sulforaphane, an aliphatic isothiocyanate derived from cruciferous vegetables, is known for its antidiabetic properties. The effects of sulforaphane on lipid metabolism in adipocytes are not clearly understood. Here, we investigated whether sulforaphane stimulates lipolysis. Mature adipocytes were incubated with sulforaphane for 24h and analyzed using a lipolysis assay which quantified glycerol released into the medium. We investigated gene expression of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), and levels of HSL phosphorylation and AMP-activated protein kinase on sulforaphane-mediated lipolysis in adipocytes. Sulforaphane promoted lipolysis and increased both HSL gene expression and HSL activation. Sulforaphane suppressed AMPK phosphorylation at Thr-172 in a dose-dependent manner, which was associated with a decrease in HSL phosphorylation at Ser-565, enhancing the phosphorylation of HSL Ser-563. Taken together, these results suggest that sulforaphane promotes lipolysis via hormone sensitive lipase activation mediated by decreasing AMPK signal activation in adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sterol Esterase / biosynthesis*
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Threonine / metabolism


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates
  • Threonine
  • Serine
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Sterol Esterase
  • sulforaphane