Biochimica et biophysica acta

Abscisic acid enhances glucose disposal and induces brown fat activity in adipocytes in vitro and in vivo.

PMID 27871880


Abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone also present in animals, where it is involved in the regulation of innate immune cell function and of glucose disposal, through its receptor LANCL2. ABA stimulates glucose uptake by myocytes and pre-adipocytes in vitro and oral ABA improves glycemic control in rats and in healthy subjects. Here we investigated the role of the ABA/LANCL2 system in the regulation of glucose uptake and metabolism in adipocytes. Silencing of LANCL2 abrogated both the ABA- and insulin-induced increase of glucose transporter-4 expression and of glucose uptake in differentiated 3T3-L1 murine adipocytes; conversely, overexpression of LANCL2 enhanced basal, ABA- and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. As compared with insulin, ABA treatment of adipocytes induced lower triglyceride accumulation, CO2 production and glucose-derived fatty acid synthesis. ABA per se did not induce pre-adipocyte differentiation in vitro, but stimulated adipocyte remodeling in terminally differentiated cells, with a reduction in cell size, increased mitochondrial content, enhanced O2 consumption, increased transcription of adiponectin and of brown adipose tissue (BAT) genes. A single dose of oral ABA (1μg/kg body weight) increased BAT glucose uptake 2-fold in treated rats compared with untreated controls. One-month-long ABA treatment at the same daily dose significantly upregulated expression of BAT markers in the WAT and in WAT-derived preadipocytes from treated mice compared with untreated controls. These results indicate a hitherto unknown role of LANCL2 in adipocyte sensitivity to insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and suggest a role for ABA in the induction and maintenance of BAT activity.

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(+)-Abscisic acid, ≥98% (HPLC)
Docosanoic acid tryptamide, analytical standard