Inhibitory effect of celastrol on adipogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells

Wonjun Hong, Junghyun Park, Wonjin Yun, Phil Jun Kang, Daryeon Son, Jihoon Jang, In Yong Kim, Seungkwon You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Control of adipogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offers enormous potential for management of obesity- and aging-related diseases. Celastrol, the traditional Chinese medicine extracted from Tripterygium wilfordi, exhibits anti-obesity effects in in vitro and in vivo murine models. This study describes how celastrol affects multilineage differentiation potential of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs). We performed in vitro adipogenic differentiation of hADSCs and investigated how celastrol-induced lipid accumulation and expression of adipocyte differentiation markers varied with dose, duration, and donor age. In addition, we assessed the effect of celastrol on osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation of hADSCs. During adipogenic induction of hADSCs, the inhibitory effect of celastrol on lipid accumulation and adipogenesis depended on dose, duration, time of administration, and individual donor. Inhibition was mediated by proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARG) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (CEBPA). Celastrol also suppressed differentiation of hADSCs into the osteogenic and chondrogenic lineages. Celastrol plays a regulatory role in multilineage differentiation of human MSCs. Our findings provide important insights regarding management of obesity and stem cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 9


  • Celastrol
  • Human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs)
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)
  • Multilineage differentiation
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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