cis-9, trans-11, trans-13-Conjugated linolenic acid induces apoptosis and sustained ERK phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes

Author(s): Chou YC, Su HM, Lai TW, Chyuan JH, Chao PM


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the adipogenic effect of cis-9, trans-11, trans-13-conjugated linolenic acid (c9,t11,t13-CLN), a fatty acid naturally present in bitter melon.

Methods: The 3T3-L1 murine preadipocyte cell line was used to test the effect of saponifiables from whole bitter melon and of commercially prepared pure c9,t11,t13-CLN on adipocyte differentiation. The effect of c9,t11,t13-CLN on 3T3-L1 cell viability was also tested at proliferation, mitotic clonal expansion, and terminal differentiation stages.

Results: Compared to the free fatty acid control mixture, the proadipogenic effect on 3T3-L1 was less potent using saponifiables obtained from bitter melon. C9,t11,t13-CLN, unlike its non-conjugated counterpart linolenic acid (LN) or other common fatty acids such as oleic acid or linoleic acid, exerted no proadipogenic effect on 3T3-L1. In contrast to LN displaying no cytotoxic effect at a concentration ≤100 μM, c9,t11,t13-CLN caused a dose-dependent reduction in the viability of pre- and postconfluent preadipocytes associated with apoptosis. Sustained ERK/MAPK activation, accompanied by increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ phosphorylation, was seen in c9,t11,t13-CLN-treated cells at initiation of differentiation.

Conclusion: C9,t11,t13-CLN is less adipogenic for 3T3-L1 cells than LN and this is partly due to its apoptotic effect on proliferating preadipocytes and to the sustained ERK phosphorylation seen during mitotic clonal expansion.

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