Cinnamaldehyde prevents adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis via regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Apr 27;59(8):3666-73. doi: 10.1021/jf104814t. Epub 2011 Mar 22.


Cinnamaldehyde (CA), one of the active components of cinnamon, has been known to exert several pharmacological effects such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antidiabetic activities. However, its antiobesity effect has not been reported yet. This study investigated the antidifferentiation effect of CA on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, and the antiobesity activity of CA was further explored using high-fat-diet-induced obese ICR mice. During 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were differentiated into adipocytes, 10-40 μM CA was treated and lipid contents were quantified by Oil Red O staining, along with changes in the expression of genes and proteins associated with adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis. It was found that CA significantly reduced lipid accumulation and down-regulated the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins α (C/EBPα), and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1) in concentration-dependent manners. Moreover, CA markedly up-regulated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), and these effects were blunted in the presence of AMPK inhibitor, compound C. In the animal study, weight gains, insulin resistance index, plasma triglyceride (TG), nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA), and cholesterol levels in the 40 mg/kg of CA-administered group were significantly decreased by 67.3, 55, 39, 31, and 23%, respectively, when compared to the high-fat diet control group. In summary, these results suggest that CA exerts antiadipogenic effects through modulation of the PPAR-γ and AMPK signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Acrolein / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acrolein / pharmacology
  • Adenylate Kinase / metabolism*
  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • DNA Primers
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • PPAR gamma / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers
  • PPAR gamma
  • Acrolein
  • Adenylate Kinase
  • cinnamaldehyde