Regulation of adipogenesis by medium-chain fatty acids in the absence of hormonal cocktail

Document Type


Publication Date



We report here that octanoate and decanoate, 8-carbon and 10-carbon medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), decreased adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes when treated with standard hormonal cocktail, but increased adipogenesis in a dose-dependent manner (with decanoate being more effective) when treated with basal media. Addition of dexamethasone to basal medium with either octanoate or decanoate further increased adipogenesis. In order to understand the adipogenic effects of MCFA in the absence of standard hormonal cocktail, postconfluent 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with octanoate or decanoate, and the change in the expression of several adipogenic transcription factors and enzymes was investigated using real-time RT-PCR. Octanoate and decanoate up-regulated the mRNA expression of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) α, fatty-acid-binding protein, sterol-regulatory element binding protein 1c, lipoprotein lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase, and the protein expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα, with decanoate being more effective. Moreover, the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 inhibited MCFA-induced lipid accumulation by about 50%. Decanoate and octanoate, to a lesser degree, increased lipid accumulation, which was associated with an increase in glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity. These results show that octanoate and decanoate may stimulate differentiation of preadipocytes, at least in part, by their influence on the expression of PPARγ and other adipocyte-specific factors. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry



First Page


Last Page



This article was published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 20, Issue 7, Pages 537-543.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier.

This document is currently not available here.