Lipolytic effects of 3-iodothyronamine (T1AM) and a novel thyronamine-like analog SG-2 through the AMPK pathway

Michael Rogowski, Lorenza Bellusci, Martina Sabatini, Simona Rapposelli, Shaikh M. Rahman, Grazia Chiellini, Fariba M. Assadi-Porter

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13 Scopus citations


3-Iodothyronamine (T1AM) and its synthetic analog SG-2 are rapidly emerging as promising drivers of cellular metabolic reprogramming. Our recent research indicates that in obese mice a sub-chronic low dose T1AM treatment increased lipolysis, associated with significant weight loss independent of food consumption. The specific cellular mechanism of T1AM’s lipolytic effect and its site of action remains unknown. First, to study the mechanism used by T1AM to gain entry into cells, we synthesized a fluoro-labeled version of T1AM (FL-T1AM) by conjugating it to rhodamine (TRITC) and analyzed its cellular uptake and localization in 3T3-L1 mouse adipocytes. Cell imaging using confocal microscopy revealed a rapid intercellular uptake of FL-T1AM into mitochondria without localization to the lipid droplet or nucleus of mature adipocytes. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with T1AM and SG-2 resulted in decreased lipid accumulation, the latter showing a significantly higher potency than T1AM (10 µM vs. 20 µM, respectively). We further examined the effects of T1AM and SG-2 on liver HepG2 cells. A significant decrease in lipid accumulation was observed in HepG2 cells treated with T1AM or SG-2, due to increased lipolytic activity. This was confirmed by accumulation of glycerol in the culture media and through activation of the AMPK/ACC signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4054
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2 2019


  • 3-iodothyronamine (T1AM)
  • AMPK pathway
  • Cell imaging
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Metabolic reprogramming
  • Mitochondria
  • Rhodamine (TRITC)
  • Thyroid hormone analogs


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