Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Nutrition Research and Practice 2018;12(6):494-502


ⓒ2018 The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition

Open access


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Reducing the number of adipocytes by inducing apoptosis of mature adipocytes as well as suppressing differentiation of preadipocytes plays an important role in preventing obesity. This study examines the anti-adipogenic and pro-apoptotic effect of red pepper seed water extract (RPS) prepared at 4°C (RPS4) in 3T3-L1 cells.

MATERIALS/METHODS: Effect of RPS4 or its fractions on lipid accumulation was determined in 3T3-L1 cells using oil red O (ORO) staining. The expressions of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and adipogenic associated proteins [peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins α (C/EBP α), sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)] were measured in 3T3-L1 cells treated with RPS4. Apoptosis and the expression of Akt and Bcl-2 family proteins [B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (Bad), Bcl-2 like protein 4 (Bax), Bal-2 homologous antagonist/killer (Bak)] were measured in mature 3T3-L1 cells treated with RPS4.

RESULTS: Treatment of RPS4 (0-75 ug/mL) or its fractions (0-50 ug/mL) for 24 h did not have an apparent cytotoxicity on pre and mature 3T3-L1 cells. RPS4 significantly suppressed differentiation and cellular lipid accumulation by increasing the phosphorylation of AMPK and reducing the expression of PPAR-γ, C/EBP α, SREBP-1c, FAS, and ACC. In addition, all fractions except ethyl acetate fraction significantly suppressed cellular lipid accumulation. RPS4 induced the apoptosis of mature adipocytes by hypophosphorylating Akt, increasing the expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins, Bak, Bax, and Bad, and reducing the expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 and p-Bad.

CONCLUSIONS: These finding suggest that RPS4 can reduce the numbers as well as the size of adipocytes and might useful for preventing and treating obesity.