Background: Previous reports suggest that Brazilian propolis has multiple biological functions and may help to restore adiponectin expression and insulin sensitivity. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which these compounds inhibit the downregulation of adiponectin.
Methods: The effect of various Brazilian propolis-derived components on inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-mediated downregulation of adiponectin expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and molecular mechanism was investigated.
Results and conclusions: Pretreatment with either artepillin C (C3) or its derivative (C4) significantly inhibited TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Interestingly, C3 strongly activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) transcriptional activity. Treatment of adipocytes with C3 resulted in the upregulation of adiponectin and fatty acid-binding protein 4 expression, but C4 did not significantly induce PPARγ transactivation. C4 did, however, inhibit the TNF-α-induced c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling that is involved in adiponectin expression. Molecular docking studies based on hPPARγ with C3 and JNK1 with C4 clearly supported our experimental results. These data demonstrate that 1) both C3 and C4 significantly inhibit the TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin in adipocytes, 2) C3 functions as a PPARγ agonist, and its inhibition of the effect of TNF-α is due to this PPARγ transactivation, and 3) C4 is an effective inhibitor of JNK activation, thus inhibiting the TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin.
General significance: Brazilian propolis-derived components (C3 and C4) can significantly inhibit TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin in adipocytes, although they do so via different mechanisms.
2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.