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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0371    [Accepted] Published online November 1, 2021.
Curcumin represses lipid accumulation through inhibiting ERK1/2-PPAR-γ signaling pathway and triggering apoptosis in porcine subcutaneous preadipocytes
Shifeng Pan1,2,3,*  , Yongfang Chen1  , Lin Zhang1  , Zhuang Liu1  , Xingyu Xu1  , Hua Xing1,2 
1College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, China
2Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Disease and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, China
3Department of Animal Science, Washington State University, Pullman, 99163, WA, USA
Correspondence:  Shifeng Pan,Email: sfpan@yzu.edu.cn
Received: 17 August 2021   • Revised: 6 September 2021   • Accepted: 19 October 2021
Abstract
Objective
Excessive lipid accumulation in adipocytes results in prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Curcumin (CUR), a naturally phenolic active ingredient, has been shown to have lipid-lowering effects. However, its underlying mechanisms have remained largely unknown. Therefore, the study aims to determine the effect of CUR on cellular lipid accumulation in porcine subcutaneous preadipocytes (PSPA) and to clarify novel mechanisms.
Methods
PSPA were cultured and treated with or without CUR. Both Cell Counting Kit-8 and lactate dehydrogenase release assays were used to examine cytotoxicity. Intracellular lipid contents were measured by Oil-Red-O staining extraction and TG quantification. Apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry and TUNEL staining. Adipogenic and apoptosis genes were analyzed by qPCR and Western blot.
Results
CUR dose-dependently reduced the proliferation and lipid accumulation of PSPA. Noncytotoxic doses of CUR (10-20 μM) significantly inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and expression of adipogenic genes peroxisome proliferation-activity receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c, adipocyte protein-2, glucose transporter-4 as well as key lipogenic enzymes fatty acid synthase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase, while ERK1/2 activation significantly reversed CUR-reduced lipid accumulation by increasing PPAR-γ. Furthermore, compared with differentiation induced media treated cells, higher dose of CUR (30 µM) significantly decreased the expression of AKT and B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2), while increased the expression of BCL-2-associated X (BAX) and the BAX/BCL-2 expression ratio, suggesting triggered apoptosis by inactivating AKT and increasing BAX/BCL-2 ratio and Caspase-3 expression. Moreover, AKT activation significantly rescued CUR inhibiting lipid accumulation via repressing apoptosis.

Conclusion

These results demonstrate that CUR is capable of suppressing differentiation by inhibiting ERK1/2-PPAR-γ signaling pathway and triggering apoptosis via decreasing AKT and subsequently increasing BAX/BCL-2 ratio and Caspase-3, suggesting that CUR provides an important method for the reduction of porcine body fat, as well as the prevention and treatment of human obesity.
Keywords: Adipogenic Differentiation; AKT/BCL-2/BAX Signaling Pathway; Apoptosis; Curcumin; ERK1/2-PPAR-γ Signaling Pathway; Porcine Subcutaneous Preadipocytes
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