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Abstract Title:

Monoterpene phenolic compound thymol promotes browning of 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Abstract Source:

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jul 18. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PMID: 27431894

Abstract Author(s):

Jae Heon Choi, Sang Woo Kim, Rina Yu, Jong Won Yun

Article Affiliation:

Jae Heon Choi

Abstract:

PURPOSE: Appearance of brown-like adipocytes within white adipose tissue depots (browning) is associated with improved metabolic phenotypes, and thus a wide variety of dietary agents that contribute to browning of white adipocytes are being studied. The aim of this study was to assess the browning effect of thymol, a dietary monoterpene phenolic compound, in 3T3-L1 white adipocytes.

METHODS: Thymol-induced fat browning was investigated by determining expression levels of brown fat-specific genes and proteins by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis, respectively. Moreover, the molecular mechanism underlying the fat-browning effect of thymol was investigated by determining expression levels of key players responsible for browning in the presence of kinase inhibitors.

RESULTS: Thymol promoted mitochondrial biogenesis and enhanced expression of a core set of brown fat-specific markers as well as increased protein levels of PPARγ, PPARδ, pAMPK, pACC, HSL, PLIN, CPT1, ACO, PGC-1α, and UCP1, suggesting its possible role in browning of white adipocytes, augmentation of lipolysis, fat oxidation, and thermogenesis, and reduction of lipogenesis. Increased expression of UCP1 and other brown fat-specific markers by thymol was tightly coordinated with activation of β3-AR as well as AMPK, PKA, and p38 MAPK.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that 3T3-L1 is a potential cell model for screening browning agents. Thymol plays multiple modulatory roles in the form of inducing the brown-like phenotype as well as enhancing lipid metabolism. Thus, thymol may be explored as a potentially promising food additive for prevention of obesity.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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