Background: From ancient times, marine algae have emerged as alternative medicine and foods, contains the rich source of natural products like proteins, vitamins, and secondary metabolites, especially Chlorella vulgaris (C. vulgaris) contains numerous anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and wound healing substances. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is closely associated with adipogenesis and their factors. Hence, we aimed to investigate the chemical constituents and adipogenic modulatory properties of C. vulgaris in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. Results: We analysed chemical constituents in ethanolic extract of C. vulgaris (EECV) by LC-MS. Results revealed that the EECV contains few triterpenoids and saponin compounds. Further, the effect of EECV on lipid accumulation along with genes and proteins expressions which are associated with adipogenesis and lipogenesis were evaluated using oil red O staining, qPCR and western blot techniques. The data indicated that that EECV treatment increased differentiation and lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells, which indicates positive regulation of adipogenic and lipogenic activity. These increases were associated with up-regulation of PPAR-γγ2, C/EBP-α, adiponectin, FAS, and leptin mRNA and protein expressions. Also, EECV treatments increased the concentration of glycerol releases as compared with control cells. Troglitazone is a PPAR-γ agonist that stimulates the PPAR-γ2, adiponectin, and GLUT-4 expressions. Similarly, EECV treatments significantly upregulated PPAR-γ2, adiponectin, GLUT-4 expressions and glucose utilization. Further, EECV treatment decreased AMPK-α expression as compared with control and metformin treated cells. Conclusion: The present research findings confirmed that the EECV effectively modulates the lipid accumulation and differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells through AMPK-α mediated signalling pathway.
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