Capsaicin, a spicy component of hot peppers, modulates adipokine gene expression and protein release from obese-mouse adipose tissues and isolated adipocytes, and suppresses the inflammatory responses of adipose tissue macrophages

FEBS Lett. 2007 Sep 18;581(23):4389-96. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.07.082. Epub 2007 Aug 14.


Adipokines are involved in the obesity-induced chronic inflammatory response that plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related pathologies such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. We here demonstrate that capsaicin, a naturally occurring phytochemical, can suppress obesity-induced inflammation by modulating adipokine release from and macrophage behavior in obese mice adipose tissues. Capsaicin inhibited the expressions of IL-6 and MCP-1 mRNAs and protein release from the adipose tissues and adipocytes of obese mice, whereas it enhanced the expression of the adiponectin gene and protein. The action of capsaicin is associated with NF-kappaB inactivation and/or PPARgamma activation. Moreover, capsaicin suppressed not only macrophage migration induced by the adipose tissue-conditioned medium, but also macrophage activation to release proinflammatory mediators. Capsaicin may be a useful phytochemical for attenuating obesity-induced inflammation and obesity-related complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipokines / genetics*
  • Adipokines / metabolism
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Capsaicin / chemistry
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology*
  • Capsicum / chemistry*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Chemokine CCL2 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Molecular Structure
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Culture Techniques


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Ccl2 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Capsaicin