4,4'-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) promote adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocyte cell culture

Jonggun Kim, Quancai Sun, Yiren Yue, Kyong Sup Yoon, Kwang Youn Whang, J. Marshall Clark, Yeonhwa Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


4,4'-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide, was extensively used in the 1940s and 1950s. DDT is mainly metabolically converted into 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE). Even though most countries banned DDT in the 1970s, due to the highly lipophilic nature and very stable characteristics, DDT and its metabolites are present ubiquitously in the environment, including food. Recently, there are publications on relationships between exposure to insecticides, including DDT and DDE, and weight gain and altered glucose homeostasis. However, there are limited reports regarding DDT or DDE and adipogenesis, thus we investigated effects of DDT and DDE on adipogenesis using 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Treatment of DDT or DDE resulted in increased lipid accumulation accompanied by increased expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), fatty acid synthase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), adipose triglyceride lipase, and leptin. Moreover, treatment of DDT or DDE increased protein levels of C/EBPα, PPARγ, AMP-activated protein kinase-α (AMPKα), and ACC, while significant decrease of phosphorylated forms of AMPKα and ACC were observed. These finding suggest that increased lipid accumulation caused by DDT and DDE may mediate AMPKα pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
There is no conflict of interest associated with authors in this manuscript. This project is supported in part by the Department of Food Science and F. J. Francis Endowment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The China Scholarship Council supported Mr. Sun. We thank Ms. Jayne M. Storkson for assistance with manuscript preparation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • 3T3-L1
  • Adipocyte differentiation
  • Adipogenesis
  • DDE
  • DDT
  • Lipogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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