Schisandrin B regulates lipid metabolism in subcutaneous adipocytes

Hiu Yee KWAN*, Jiahui Wu, Tao Su, Xiao Juan Chao, Hua Yu, Bin Liu, Xiuqiong FU, Anfernee K W TSE, Chi Leung Chan, David W F FONG, Zhiling YU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Subcutaneous adipocytes in obese subjects have a lower sensitivity to catecholamine-induced lipolysis and a higher sensitivity to insulin anti-lipolytic effects compared to adipocytes in other adipose depots. Therefore, increasing lipolysis in subcutaneous adipocytes coupled with enhanced fatty acid oxidation may be an anti-obesity strategy. Schisandrin B (Sch B) is one of the most abundant active dibenzocyclooctadiene derivatives found in the fruit of Schisandra chinensis which is a commonly prescribed Chinese medicinal herb. We found that Sch B reduced glycerolipid contents in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and subcutaneous adipocytes dissected from DIO mice. Sch B also activated hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and increased lipolysis in these adipocyte in a protein kinase A-dependent manner. Interestingly, Sch B increased fatty acid oxidation gene expressions in these adipocytes, implying an increase in fatty acid oxidation after treatment. In in vivo model, we found that Sch B increased HSL phosphorylation, reduced glycerolipid levels and increased fatty acid oxidation gene expressions in the subcutaneous adipocytes in the DIO mice. More importantly, Sch B significantly reduced the subcutaneous adipocyte sizes, subcutaneous adipose tissue mass and body weight of the mice. Our study provides scientific evidence to suggest a potential therapeutic function of Sch B or Schisandra chinensis seed containing Sch B in reducing obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10266
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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