Alpha-Lipoic Acid Alleviates Acute Inflammation and Promotes Lipid Mobilization During the Inflammatory Response in White Adipose Tissue of Mice

Lipids. 2016 Oct;51(10):1145-1152. doi: 10.1007/s11745-016-4185-2. Epub 2016 Aug 16.


Recently, white adipose tissue has been shown to exhibit immunological activity, and may play an important role in host defense and protection against bacterial infection. Αlpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) has been demonstrated to function as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent. However, its influence on the inflammatory response and metabolic changes in white adipose tissue remains unknown. We used male C57BL/6 mice as models to study the effect of α-LA on the inflammatory response and metabolic changes in white adipose tissue after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The non-esterified fatty acid content was measured by an automatic biochemical analyzer. The expression of inflammation-, lipid- and energy metabolism-related genes and proteins was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. The results indicated that α-LA significantly decreased the epididymis fat weight index and the non-esterified fatty acid content in plasma compared with the control group. LPS significantly increased the expression of inflammation genes and α-LA reduced their expression. The LPS-induced expression of nuclear factor-κB protein was decreased by α-LA. Regarding lipid metabolism, α-LA significantly counteracted the inhibitory effects of LPS on the expression of hormone-sensitive lipase gene and protein. α-LA evidently increased the gene expression of fatty acid transport protein 1 and cluster of differentiation 36. Regarding energy metabolism, α-LA significantly increased the expression of most of mitochondrial DNA-encoded genes compared with the control and LPS group. Accordingly, α-LA can alleviate acute inflammatory response and this action may be related with the promotion of lipid mobilization in white adipose tissue.

Keywords: Alpha-lipoic acid; Inflammation; Metabolism; White adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, White / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Lipid Mobilization / drug effects*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Thioctic Acid