Resveratrol (RSV), 3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene, is known to have many beneficial physiological activities. We have synthesized several stilbene anlogues and have reported that the hydroxyl group in the 4' position of RSV exhibited strong radical scavenging action. Using stilbene analogs, we investigated the structure of RSV to explain its protective effect against obesity and type 2 diabetes. All six analogs used in this study inhibited the differentiation of 3T3-L1 adipocytes. 3-Hydroxy-trans stilbene (3(OH)ST), and 3,4'-dihydroxy-trans stilbene (3,4'(OH)2ST) increased glucose uptake and induced adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in C2C12 myotubes independently of insulin. An in vivo study using mice fed high-fat diets indicated that 3(OH)ST was more effective than RSV in improving insulin resistance. In conclusion, RSV and its derivatives, particularly 3(OH)ST, inhibited adipocyte differentiation and enhanced glucose uptake in the myotubes, resulting in a reduction of obesity and an improvement in glucose tolerance in vivo.
2013 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry