Prednisolone induces the Wnt signalling pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Wilco W M Fleuren, Margot M L Linssen, Erik J M Toonen, Gerard C M van der Zon, Bruno Guigas, Jacob de Vlieg, Wim H A Dokter, D Margriet Ouwens, Wynand Alkema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Synthetic glucocorticoids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs but show dose-dependent metabolic side effects such as the development of insulin resistance and obesity. The precise mechanisms involved in these glucocorticoid-induced side effects, and especially the participation of adipose tissue in this are not completely understood. We used a combination of transcriptomics, antibody arrays and bioinformatics approaches to characterize prednisolone-induced alterations in gene expression and adipokine secretion, which could underlie metabolic dysfunction in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Several pathways, including cytokine signalling, Akt signalling, and Wnt signalling were found to be regulated at multiple levels, showing that these processes are targeted by prednisolone. These results suggest that mechanisms by which prednisolone induce insulin resistance include dysregulation of wnt signalling and immune response processes. These pathways may provide interesting targets for the development of improved glucocorticoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-64
JournalArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2013


  • 3t3-l1 cells
  • adipocytes/drug effects
  • adipokines/genetics
  • deoxyglucose/metabolism
  • gene expression/drug effects
  • glucocorticoids/adverse effects
  • immunity/drug effects
  • insulin/pharmacology
  • insulin resistance
  • mice
  • prednisolone/adverse effects
  • signal transduction/drug effects
  • transcriptome/drug effects


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