Kee-Hong Kim and colleagues from Purdue University in Indiana have found that piceatannol binds to insulin receptors of immature fat cells in the first stage of adipogenesis—the process in which early-stage fat cells become mature fat cells, blocking insulin’s ability to control cell cycles and activate genes that carry out further stages of fat cell formation.
Essentially, piceatannol blocks the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow. “Our study reveals an anti-adipogenic function of piceatannol and highlights [insulin resistance] and its downstream insulin signaling as novel targets for piceatannol in the early phase of adipogenesis,” the researchers conclude.
Kwon, J.Y., et al. (2012). Piceatannol, a natural polyphenolic stilbene, inhibits adipogenesis via modulation of mitotic clonal expansion and insulin receptor-dependent insulin signaling in the early phase of differentiation. J Biol Chem. Published online ahead of print January 31.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
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