Amber Extract Reduces Lipid Content in Mature 3T3-L1 Adipocytes by Activating the Lipolysis Pathway

Molecules. 2021 Jul 30;26(15):4630. doi: 10.3390/molecules26154630.


Amber-the fossilized resin of trees-is rich in terpenoids and rosin acids. The physiological effects, such as antipyretic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory, were used in traditional medicine. This study aims to clarify the physiological effects of amber extract on lipid metabolism in mouse 3T3-L1 cells. Mature adipocytes are used to evaluate the effect of amber extract on lipolysis by measuring the triglyceride content, glucose uptake, glycerol release, and lipolysis-related gene expression. Our results show that the amount of triacylglycerol, which is stored in lipid droplets in mature adipocytes, decreases following 96 h of treatment with different concentrations of amber extract. Amber extract treatment also decreases glucose uptake and increases the release of glycerol from the cells. Moreover, amber extract increases the expression of lipolysis-related genes encoding perilipin and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and promotes the activity of HSL (by increasing HSL phosphorylation). Amber extract treatment also regulates the expression of other adipocytokines in mature adipocytes, such as adiponectin and leptin. Overall, our results indicate that amber extract increases the expression of lipolysis-related genes to induce lipolysis in 3T3-L1 cells, highlighting its potential for treating various obesity-related diseases.

Keywords: adipocytes; amber; hormone-sensitive lipase; lipid metabolism; lipolysis.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Amber / chemistry
  • Amber / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Complex Mixtures / chemistry
  • Complex Mixtures / pharmacology*
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Lipid Droplets / chemistry
  • Lipid Droplets / drug effects
  • Lipid Droplets / metabolism
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Perilipin-1 / genetics
  • Perilipin-1 / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Sterol Esterase / genetics
  • Sterol Esterase / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Adipoq protein, mouse
  • Amber
  • Complex Mixtures
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Leptin
  • Perilipin-1
  • Triglycerides
  • Ethanol
  • Sterol Esterase
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol