Inhibition of adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis by the traditional Chinese herb Sibiraea angustata

Lei Xiao, Jun Zhang, Hongxing Li, Jin Liu, Lan He, Junjie Zhang, Yonggong Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Obesity has become a major health concern due to its strong association with the metabolic syndrome. Inhibition of adipocyte differentiation represents a key strategy to inhibit obesity. Sibiraea angustata (SA), a traditional Chinese herb, has a wide range of pharmacological effects, such as improving digestive functions. Here, we report a novel antiadipogenic effect of SA. By using the SA water extract (SAW), SA acetic ether extract (SAA) and the 3T3-L1 model of adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis, we showed that both SAW and SAA impaired the proliferation and adipo-differentiation of 3T3-L1 in a doseand time-dependent manner. At the molecular level, treatment of 3T3-L1 cells with SAW or SAA inhibited the expression of the key adipocyte differentiation regulator CCAAT enhancer binding protein b (C/EBPb), as well as peroxisome proliferator activated receptor g, adipocyte protein-2, lipoprotein lipase and glucose transporter 4. Cell cycle analysis showed that both SAW and SAA blocked cell cycle at the G1-S transition phase, causing cells to remain in the preadipocyte state. The expression of CyclinA and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 was also inhibited by SAW and SAA. Treatment with SAW also prevented the localization of C/EBPb to the centromeres. Taken together, our results show that SA has a potent antiadipogenic effect in 3T3-L1 cells due to the inhibition of adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis. We propose that SA may be used as a safe and effective neutraceutical to manage obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1442-1449
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 3T3-L1
  • Adipocyte differentiation
  • Adipogenesis
  • Obesity
  • Sibiraea angustata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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