Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Resveratrol induces cell apoptosis in adipocytes via AMPK activation.

PMID 25603053


Resveratrol is identified as polyphenolic compound with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-insulin resistance characteristics. Moreover, resveratrol exerts pro-apoptotic effects in varieties of cancer cell lines. However, effects and mechanisms of resveratrol on the regulation of adipocytes apoptosis remain largely unknown. In this study, we found that resveratrol treatment could induce cell apoptosis in murine 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Furthermore, resveratrol activated the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway with the decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and the activation of caspase 3. Mechanistically, we found that phosphorylation level of AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) was elevated, accompany with reduced level of phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT) when cells were exposed to resveratrol. By using small interfering RNAs of AMPKα and specific inhibitor for p-AKT, it was shown that activation of AMPKα could inhibit downstream of p-AKT, consequently activating mitochondrion-mediated apoptotic pathway. Additionally, we observed similar pro-apoptotic effects of Res on mouse primary adipocytes. Our findings clarified the apoptotic effects and underlying mechanisms of resveratrol in adipocytes, suggesting its potential therapeutic application in the treatment or prevention of obesity and related metabolic symptoms.