Effects of curcumin on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation
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Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in the spice, turmeric, from rhizomes of Curcuma Longa, is a fat soluble polyphenolic compound. Several studies have shown its anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and, antiangiogenic properties. In this study, we investigated the effect of curcumin on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation in culture and gene expression involved in lipid metabolism. Curcumin inhibited 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation in dose-dependent manner by downregulating PPAR-γ expression. Curcumin was toxic to cells at a concentration of 30 μM. Curcumin also downregulated PPAR-α gene expression while not affecting Fabp4 gene expression indicating that fatty acid oxidation is not affected by curcumin in 3T3-L1 cells. Although adiponectin gene expression is known to be PPAR-γ dependent, in our study curcumin did not affect adiponectin gene expression despite downregulation of PPAR-γ gene suggesting that a change in PPAR-γ gene alone is not sufficient to alter adiponectin gene expression in these cells. Curcumin may benefit as a potential weight loss supplement.