Active spice-derived components can inhibit inflammatory responses of adipose tissue in obesity by suppressing inflammatory actions of macrophages and release of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 from adipocytes

Life Sci. 2007 Feb 13;80(10):926-31. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2006.11.030. Epub 2006 Nov 23.


Inflammation plays a key role in obesity-related pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and several types of cancer. Obesity-induced inflammation entails the enhancement of the recruitment of macrophages into adipose tissue and the release of various proinflammatory proteins from fat tissue. Therefore, the modulation of inflammatory responses in obesity may be useful for preventing or ameliorating obesity-related pathologies. Some spice-derived components, which are naturally occurring phytochemicals, elicit antiobesity and antiinflammatory properties. In this study, we investigated whether active spice-derived components can be applied to the suppression of obesity-induced inflammatory responses. Mesenteric adipose tissue was isolated from obese mice fed a high-fat diet and cultured to prepare an adipose tissue-conditioned medium. Raw 264.7 macrophages were treated with the adipose tissue-conditioned medium with or without active spice-derived components (i.e., diallyl disulfide, allyl isothiocyanate, piperine, zingerone and curcumin). Chemotaxis assay was performed to measure the degree of macrophage migration. Macrophage activation was estimated by measuring tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), nitric oxide, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) concentrations. The active spice-derived components markedly suppressed the migration of macrophages induced by the mesenteric adipose tissue-conditioned medium in a dose-dependent manner. Among the active spice-derived components studied, allyl isothiocyanate, zingerone, and curcumin significantly inhibited the cellular production of proinflammatory mediators such as TNF-alpha and nitric oxide, and significantly inhibited the release of MCP-1 from 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Our findings suggest that the spice-derived components can suppress obesity-induced inflammatory responses by suppressing adipose tissue macrophage accumulation or activation and inhibiting MCP-1 release from adipocytes. These spice-derived components may have a potential to improve chronic inflammatory conditions in obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipocytes / pathology*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL2 / biosynthesis*
  • Chemotaxis / drug effects
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Spices / analysis*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide