Rhodiola rosea (Rro) has been reported to have various pharmacological properties, including anti-fatigue, anti-stress and anti-inflammatory activity. It is also known to improve glucose and lipid metabolism, but the effects of Rhodiola rosea on adipocyte differentiation and metabolism are not still elucidated. In this study the anti-adipogenic and lipolytic activity of two extracts of Rhodiola rosea, containing 3% salidroside (RS) or 1% salidroside and 3% rosavines (RR) on primary human visceral adipocytes was investigated. Pre-adipocytes were analyzed after 10 and 20 days of treatment during differentiation and after 7 days of treatment when they reached mature shape. The RS extract significantly induced higher apoptosis and lipolysis in comparison to control cells and to RR extract. In contrast, RR extract significantly reduced triglyceride incorporation during maturation. Differentiation of pre-adipocytes in the presence of RS and RR extracts showed a significant decrease in expression of genes involved in adipocyte function such as SLC2A4 and the adipogenic factor FGF2 and significant increase in expression of genes involved in inhibition of adipogenesis, such as GATA3, WNT3A, WNT10B. Furthermore RR extract, in contrast to RS, significantly down-regulates PPARG, the master regulator of adipogenesis and FABP4. These data support the lipolytic and anti-adipogenetic activity of two different commercial extracts of Rhodiola rosea in primary human visceral pre-adipocytes during differentiation.
Keywords: Rhodiola rosea; differentiation; gene expression; human visceral adipocytes.