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Kaempferol suppresses lipid accumulation by inhibiting early adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells and zebrafish

Kaempferol is a flavonoid present in Kaempferia galanga and Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten. Recent studies have suggested that it has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-obesity effects. In this study, we focused on the anti-adipogenic effects of kaempferol during adipocyte differentiation. The results showed that kaempferol inhibits lipid accumulation in adipocytes and zebrafish. Oil Red O and Nile Red staining showed that the number of intracellular lipid droplets decreased in adipocytes and zebrafish treated with kaempferol. LPAATθ (lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase), lipin1, and DGAT1 (triglyceride synthetic enzymes) and FASN and SREBP-1C (fatty acid synthetic proteins) showed decreased expression levels in the presence of kaempferol. In addition, treatment of kaempferol showed an inhibitory activity on cell cycle progression. Kaempferol delayed cell cycle progression from the S to G2/M phase through the regulation of cyclins in a dose-dependent manner. Kaempferol blocked the phosphorylation of AKT (protein kinase B) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway during the early stages of adipogenesis. In addition, kaempferol down-regulated pro-early adipogenic factors such as CCAAT-enhancer binding proteins β (C/EBPβ), and Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) 4 and 5, while anti-early adipogenic factors, such as KLF2 and pref-1(preadipocyte factor-1), were upregulated. These kaempferol-mediated regulations of early adipogenic factors resulted in the attenuation of late adipogenic factors such as C/EBPα and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). These results were supported in zebrafish based on the decrease in lipid accumulation and expression of adipogenic factors. Our results indicated that kaempferol might have an anti-obesity effect by regulating lipid metabolism.

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