Background/aims: Obesity has become a major health concern with few effective medications. Cinnamaldehyde (CA) has been reported to exhibit anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, whether CA shows anti-obesity activity remains unknown. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the potential anti-obesity effects of CA on mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and to explore the possible mechanisms involved.
Methods: Male C57BL/6J mice fed an HFD for 12 weeks were supplemented with CA (40 mg/kg/day) via gavage for an additional 8 weeks. Mice fed a standard diet were used as normal controls.
Results: The results revealed that CA treatment decreased body weight, fat mass, food intake, and serum lipid, free fatty acid and leptin levels. CA administration also improved insulin sensitivity in HFD-induced obese mice. Additionally, CA inhibited the hypertrophy of adipose tissue and induced browning of white adipose tissue. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) was expressed in white adipose tissue after the oral administration of CA. Furthermore, CA enhanced the expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), PR domain-containing 16 (PRDM16) and PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) proteins in both brown and white adipose tissues.
Conclusions: The results suggest that CA exhibits therapeutic potency against obesity by inducing the browning of white adipose tissue in HFD-fed mice.
Keywords: Adipose tissue browning; Anti-obesity; Cinnamaldehyde; Fat mass; Mice.
© 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.