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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 1617202, 8 pages
Research Article

Modulation of Adipocyte Differentiation and Proadipogenic Gene Expression by Sulforaphane, Genistein, and Docosahexaenoic Acid as a First Step to Counteract Obesity

1Department of Agri-Food Science and Technology (DISTAL), University of Bologna, Piazza Goidanich 60, 47521 Cesena, Italy
2German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69121 Heidelberg, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Alessandra Bordoni; ti.obinu@inodrob.ardnassela

Received 28 September 2017; Revised 28 December 2017; Accepted 11 January 2018; Published 7 February 2018

Academic Editor: Mariateresa Giuliano

Copyright © 2018 Veronica Valli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity is characterized by excess body fat accumulation due to an increase in the size and number of differentiated mature adipocytes. Adipocyte differentiation is regulated by genetic and environmental factors, and its inhibition could represent a strategy for obesity prevention and treatment. The current study was designed with two aims: (i) to evaluate the changes in the expression of adipogenic markers (C/EBPα, PPARγ variant 1 and variant 2, and GLUT4) in 3T3-L1 murine preadipocytes at four stages of the differentiation process and (ii) to compare the effectiveness of sulforaphane, genistein, and docosahexaenoic acid in reducing lipid accumulation and modulating C/EBPα, PPARγ1, PPARγ2, and GLUT4 mRNA expression in mature adipocytes. All bioactive compounds were shown to suppress adipocyte differentiation, although with different effectiveness. These results set the stage for further studies considering natural food constituents as important agents in preventing or treating obesity.