Phloretin promotes adipogenesis via mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in mouse marrow stromal ST2 cells

Ayumu Takeno, Ippei Kanazawa, Masakazu Notsu, Ken Ichiro Tanaka, Toshitsugu Sugimoto

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Phloretin, a glucose transporter (GLUT) inhibitor, has pleiotropic effects. The present study examined the effects of phloretin on the commitment of marrow stromal cells to adipocytes, using the mouse marrow stromal cell line ST2. Oil red O staining showed that treatment with phloretin 10–100 µM promoted lipid accumulation. Real-time PCR showed that phloretin significantly increased the expression of adipogenic markers, including PPARγ, C/EBPα, fatty acid synthase, fatty acid-binding protein 4, and adiponectin. Western blotting showed that phloretin inhibited ERK1/2 and JNK but activated p38 MAPK. Treatment with a MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor and a JNK inhibitor enhanced adipogenesis, similar to phloretin. In contrast, a p38 MAPK inhibitor suppressed phloretin-induced adipogenesis. Although phloretin phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), co-incubation with an AMPK inhibitor did not block phloretin-induced adipogenesis. The 2-deoxyglucose colorimetric assay showed that phloretin and siRNA silencing of GLUT1 decreased glucose uptake. However, unlike phloretin treatment, GLUT1 silencing inhibited adipogenesis. In addition, phloretin enhanced adipogenesis in GLUT1 knocked-down cells. Taken together, phloretin induced adipogenesis of marrow stromal cells by inhibiting ERK1/2 and JNK and by activating p38 MAPK. The adipogenic effects of phloretin were independent of glucose uptake inhibition. Phloretin may affect energy metabolism by influencing adipogenesis and adiponectin expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1772
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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