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Obesity is a known risk factor for metabolic diseases and is often associated with chronic inflammation in adipose tissue. We previously identified the polyethoxylated flavonoid Nobiletin (NOB) as a circadian clock modulator that directly binds to and activates the ROR receptors in the core oscillator, markedly improving metabolic fitness in obese mice. Here, we show that NOB enhanced the oscillation of core clock genes in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, including ROR target genes such as Bmal1, Cry1, Dec1, and Dec2. NOB inhibited lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 and SVF cells, concomitant with the dysregulated circadian expression of adipogenic differentiation-related genes including Cebpb, Pparg, Lpl, Scd1, and Fas. Importantly, RORα/RORγ double knockdown in 3T3-L1 cells (Ror DKD) significantly attenuated the effects of NOB on circadian gene expression and lipid accumulation. Furthermore, whereas NOB upregulated the expression of IκBα, a target of RORs, to inhibit NF-κB activation and proinflammatory cytokine expression, Ror DKD cells exhibited a heightened activation of the NF-κB pathway, further indicating a requisite role of RORs for NOB efficacy in adipocytes. Together, these results highlight a significant regulatory function of the NOB-ROR axis in the circadian expression of clock and clock-controlled genes in adipocytes, thereby governing adipogenic differentiation, lipogenesis, and inflammation.


3T3-L1, IκBα/NF-κB, Nobiletin, adipocytes, circadian clock, lipid, obesity, retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptors (RORs)



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