Zeaxanthin promotes browning by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis through the PKA pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes
Obesity is closely associated with maintaining mitochondrial homeostasis, and mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to systemic lipid metabolism disorders. Zeaxanthin (ZEA) is a kind of carotenoid with potent antioxidant activity and has been reported to promote mitochondrial biogenesis. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism has not been explained. In this study, we first discovered that ZEA stimulated 3T3-L1 adipocyte browning by increasing the expression of specific markers (Cd137, Tbx1, Sirt1, Cidea, Ucp1, Tmem26, and Cited1), thereby reducing lipid accumulation. Besides, ZEA promoted mitochondrial biogenesis by increasing the expression of PRDM16, UCP1, NRF2, PGC-1α, and SIRT1. Moreover, the uncoupled oxygen consumption rate (OCR) of protons leaked in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was rapidly increased by ZEA treatment, which improved mitochondrial respiration and energy metabolism. Furthermore, we found that ZEA promotes browning by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis partly through the protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. This study provided new insight into the promotion of browning and mitochondrial biogenesis by ZEA, suggesting that ZEA probably has potential therapeutic effects on obesity.