A water-soluble extract from the stems of Cucurbita moschata, code named PG105, was previously found to contain strong anti-obesity activities in a high fat diet-induced obesity mouse model. One of its biological characteristics is that it inhibits 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. To isolate the biologically active compound(s), conventional solvent fractionation was performed, and the various fractions were tested for antiadipogenic activity using Oil Red O staining method. A single spot on thin layer chromatography of the chloroform fraction showed a potent anti-adipogenic activity. When purified, the structure of its major component was resolved as dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol (DHCA), a lignan, by NMR and mass spectrometry analysis. In 3T3-L1 cells, synthesized DHCA significantly reduced the expression of several adipocyte marker genes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ (Pparg), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (Cebpa), fatty acid-binding protein 4 (Fabp4), sterol response element-binding protein-1c (Srebp1c), and stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase-1 (Scd), and decreased lipid accumulation without affecting cell viability. DHCA also suppressed the mitotic clonal expansion of preadipocytes (an early event of adipogenesis), probably by suppressing the DNA binding activity of C/EBPβ, and lowered the production level of cyclinA and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2), coinciding with the decrease in DNA synthesis and cell division. In addition, DHCA directly inhibited the expression of SREBP-1c and SCD-1. Similar observations were made, using primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Taken together, our data indicate that DHCA may contain dual activities, affecting both adipogenesis and lipogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology