Impact of isoorientin on metabolic activity and lipid accumulation in differentiated adipocytes

Khanyisani Ziqubu, Christo J.F. Muller, Phiwayinkosi V. Dludla, Sinenhlanhla X.H. Mthembu, Nnini Obonye, Johan Louw, Abidemi P. Kappo, Sonia Silvestri, Patrick Orlando, Luca Tiano, Sithandiwe E. Mazibuko-Mbeje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The current study explored the effect of isoorientin on the metabolic activity and lipid accumulation in fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. To achieve this, the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes were differentiated for eight days and treated with various concentrations of isoorientin (0.1-100 µM) for four hours. Subsequently, the metabolic activity, lipid accumulation, and mitochondrial respiration were assessed. Furthermore, to unravel the molecular mechanisms that might elucidate the bioactivity of isoorientin, protein expression of the genes involved in insulin signaling and energy expenditure, such as AKT and AMPK, were investigated. The results showed that isoorientin, at different doses, could block lipid storage and enhance glycerol release, with a concomitant improvement of the metabolic activity and mitochondrial function. Although the observed beneficial effects of isoorientin on these cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes were not consistent at all concentrations, it was clear that doses between 1 and 10 µM were most effective compared to the untreated control. Moreover, the activity of isoorientin was comparable to tested positive controls of CL-316,2431, isoproterenol, insulin, and metformin. Mechanistically, protein expression of AKT and AMPK, was enhanced with isoorientin exposure, suggesting their partial role in modulating lipid metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis. Indeed, our results showed that isoorientin has the ability to enhance mitochondrial respiration, as we observed an increase in the ATP and oxygen consumption rate. Therefore, we concluded that isoorientin has a potential to impact mitochondrial activity, lipid metabolism and energy expenditure using an in vitro experimental model of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25081773
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • 3T3-L1 adipocytes
  • Isoorientin
  • Lipid accumulation
  • Metabolic activity
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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