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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358163

Research Project: Biology of Obesity Prevention

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Tart cherry reduces inflammation in adipose tissue 2 of zucker fatty rats and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes

item JAYARATHNE, SHASIKA - Texas Tech University
item STULL, APRIL - University Of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)
item SCOGGIN, SHANE - Texas Tech University
item Larson, Kate
item HAN, KIM - Marshall University
item MOUSTAID-MOUSSA, NAIMA - Texas Tech University

Submitted to: Nutrients
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2018
Publication Date: 10/25/2018
Publication URL:
Citation: Jayarathne, S., Stull, A.J., Scoggin, S., Larson, K.J., Han, K.J., Moustaid-Moussa, N. 2018. Tart cherry reduces inflammation in adipose tissue 2 of zucker fatty rats and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Nutrients.

Interpretive Summary: It is known that diet rich in biologically active nutrients called anthocyanin found in tart cherry has anti-inflammatory effects. Using genetically obese Zucker fatty rats, we showed that diet containing 4% of tart cherry powder (has approximately 36 ug/ml of anthocyanin) had significant effects on reducing fat tissue inflammatory factors (Interleukin 6 or IL-6, Tumor necrosis factor alpha or TNFa, and Cluster of differentiation 11b or CD-11b) and inflammatory cell macrophage type II marker (M2)(Atg-1) gene expressions. Mouse fat cell (adipocyte) cell line called 3T3-L1 cells also showed significant decrease in proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 gene expression. In addition, activation of a factor involved in IL-6 transcription such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) and antioxidant gene (nuclear factor or NRF) were reduced with treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with anthocyanin. Taken together these data indicate that anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of tart cherry’s anthocyain is mediated by gene expression regulator NFkB in adipocytes.

Technical Abstract: Obesity increases adipose tissue inflammation and secretion of pro-inflammatory adipokines, which have systemic effects on the organism health status. Our objective was to dissect mechanisms of anti-inflammatory effects of tart cherry (TC) in adipose tissue of Zucker fatty rats, and cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Rats were fed either a control diet, or 4% TC powder diets for 8 weeks. Body and epididymal fat pad weights were not significantly different between control and TC groups. However, rats fed the TC diet had significantly reduced adipose tissue inflammation, as determined by reduced mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory IL-6, TNFa, and CD-11b and increased mRNA levels of Arg-1 anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage marker. Consistent with these in-vivo results, TC (~36µg/ml anthocyanin) significantly decreased expression of IL-6 mRNA and protein levels in LPS-stimulated adipocytes compared to those stimulated with LPS but no TC. Moreover, both in vivo (rat adipose tissue) and in vitro (3T3-L1 adipocytes), phosphorylation of p65-NFkB subunit, was significantly reduced by TC. Additionally, TC increased expression of anti-oxidant genes (NRFs) in both models. In conclusion, our findings indicate that TC downregulates inflammation in part via NFkB pathway in adipose tissue and suggest may serve as a potential intervention to reduce obesity-associated inflammation, independent of adiposity.