Chilean native fruit extracts inhibit inflammation linked to the pathogenic interaction between adipocytes and macrophages

J Med Food. 2015 May;18(5):601-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0031. Epub 2014 Oct 10.


Obesity is characterized by an increase in the infiltration of monocytes into the adipose tissue, causing an inflammatory condition associated with, for example, the development of insulin resistance. Thus, anti-inflammatory-based treatments could emerge as a novel and interesting approach. It has been reported that Chilean native fruits maqui (Aristotelia chilensis) and calafate (Berberis microphylla) present high contents of polyphenols, which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of extracts of these fruits to block the pathogenic interaction between adipocytes and macrophages in vitro and to compare its effect with blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) extract treatment, which has been already described to possess several biomedical benefits. RAW264.7 macrophages were treated with 5 μg/mL lipopolysaccharides (LPS), with conditioned media (CM) from fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, or in a coculture (CC) with 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in the presence or absence of 100 μM [total polyphenolic content] of each extract for 24 h. The gene expression and secretion profile of several inflammatory markers were evaluated. Nitric oxide secretion induced by LPS, CM, and CC was reduced by the presence of maqui (-12.2%, -45.6%, and -14.7%, respectively) and calafate (-27.6%, -43.9%, and -11.8%, respectively) extracts. Gene expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and TNF-α was inhibited and of IL-10 was induced by maqui and calafate extract incubation. In conclusion, the extracts of these fruits present important inhibitory-like features over the inflammatory response of the interaction between adipocytes and macrophages, comprising a potential therapeutic tool against comorbidities associated with obesity development.

Keywords: 3T3-L1 cells; RAW264.7 cells; adiposity; anti-inflammatory; antioxidant activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / immunology
  • Animals
  • Berberis / chemistry*
  • Chile
  • Elaeocarpaceae / chemistry*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10