Adipogenic and lipolytic effects of ascorbic acid in ovariectomized rats

Byoungjae Kim, Kyung Min Choi, Hong Soon Yim, Hyun Tae Park, Joung Han Yim, Min Goo Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Ascorbic acid has been reported to have an adipogenic effect on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, while evidence also suggests that ascorbic acid reduces body weight in humans. In this study, we tested the effects of ascorbic acid on adipogenesis and the balance of lipid accumulation in ovariectomized rats, in addition to long-term culture of differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Materials and Methods: Murine 3T3-L1 fibroblasts and ovariectomized rats were treated with ascorbic acid at various time points. In vitro adipogenesis was analyzed by Oil Red O staining, and in vivo body fat was measured by a body composition analyzer using nuclear magnetic resonance. Results: When ascorbic acid was applied during an early time point in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation and after bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) in rats, adipogenesis and fat mass gain significantly increased, respectively. However, lipid accumulation in well-differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes showed a significant reduction when ascorbic acid was applied after differentiation (10 days after induction). Also, oral ascorbic acid administration 4 weeks after OVX in rats significantly reduced both body weight and subcutaneous fat layer. In comparison to the results of ascorbic acid, which is a well-known cofactor for an enzyme of collagen synthesis, and the antioxidant ramalin, a potent antioxidant but not a cofactor, showed only a lipolytic effect in well-differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, not an adipogenic effect. Conclusion: Taking these results into account, we concluded that ascorbic acid has both an adipogenic effect as a cofactor of an enzymatic process and a lipolytic effect as an antioxidant.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-91
    Number of pages7
    JournalYonsei medical journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2014R1A1A2058114) and was also supported by a Korea University Grant.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © Yonsei University College of Medicine 2018.


    • 3T3-L1 cell
    • Adipogenesis
    • Ascorbic acid
    • Lipolysis
    • Obesity
    • Ovariectomy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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