Protocatechuic Acid Enhances Osteogenesis, but Inhibits Adipogenesis in C3H10T1/2 and 3T3-L1 Cells

Adriana Rivera-Piza, Young Jae An, Do Kyung Kim, Sung Hyen Lee, Jung Bong Kim, Jung Sook Choi, Sung Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Abnormal activation of adipogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and preadipocyte cells is associated with human metabolic disorders, such as osteoporosis and obesity. This study investigated the biological effects of protocatechuic acid (PCA) on the modulation of osteogenesis and adipogenesis in cultured cells. PCA stimulation of MSCs significantly increased intracellular mineralization during osteogenesis, but reduced lipid accumulation in both MSCs and 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cells during adipogenesis. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting analyses showed a dose-dependent upregulation of proosteogenic runt-related transcription factor 2 due to induction of β-catenin. PCA reduced the expression of proadipogenic transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and suppressed its promotor activity. These results suggest PCA exerts stimulatory effects on the osteogenesis of MSCs and inhibitory effects on the adipogenesis of MSCs and 3T3-L1 cells. PCA may contribute to maintain a coordinated metabolic balance between adipogenesis and osteogenesis, and thus may be useful for the prevention and alleviation of osteoporosis and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was carried out with the support of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (NRF-2016R1A2A2A0500500 5483), and a grant (PJ01125304) from Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition 2017.


  • Adipogenesis
  • Osteogenesis
  • PPARc
  • Protocatechuic acid
  • RUNX2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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