Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Sciences

First Advisor

Banz, William


Obesity-related comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have become a major public health concerns. These complications primarily arise in response to cellular changes in white adipose tissue (WAT). In particular, when a majority of fat cells become hypertrophic it promotes a metabolically unhealthy phenotype, which is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance, and ectopic lipid accumulation. Research has implicated synthetic (i.e., Bisdehydrodoisynolic acid, BDDA) and natural (i.e., genistein and daidzein) xenoestrogens in the protection against obesity-related pathologies. Bisdehydrodoisynolic acid (BDDA) reduced weight gain and adiposity, as well as improved lipid homeostasis in obese rodents. Alternatively, phytoestrogens, such as genistein and daidzein were reported to induce adipocyte differentiation through potential interactions with PPARγs, canonical WNT proteins, and estrogen receptors (ER) signaling. The current investigation was conducted to test the effects of synthetic and natural estrogenic compounds (BDDA, daidzein, and genistein) for their effects on the induction of adipogenic signaling, which may potentially improve WAT morphology by reducing adipocyte hypertrophy.




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