Red raspberries suppress NLRP3 inflammasome and attenuate metabolic abnormalities in diet-induced obese mice

J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Mar:53:96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.10.012. Epub 2017 Nov 2.


The NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome plays a critical role in insulin resistance and the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Red raspberry (RB) contains high amounts of dietary fibers and polyphenolic compounds, which are known for their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. This study evaluated the preventive effects of RB supplementation on the NLRP3 inflammasome activation and associated metabolic abnormalities induced by high fat diet (HFD). Wild-type male mice (six weeks old) were randomized into 4 groups receiving a control or typical western HFD supplemented with or without 5% freeze-dried RB for 12 weeks, when mice were sacrificed for tissue collection. HFD feeding substantially increased body weight, which was alleviated by RB supplementation towards the end of the feeding trial. Dietary RB restored the baseline blood glucose level, ameliorating glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which were aggravated by HFD. Additionally, HFD reduced O2 expenditure and CO2 production, which were ameliorated by RB consumption. The liver is the key site for energy metabolism and a key peripheral tissue responsive to insulin. RB supplementation reduced hepatic lipid accumulation in HFD mice. In agreement, RB consumption suppressed hepatic NLRP3 inflammasome activation and reduced interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 production in HFD mice, accompanied with normalized mitochondriogenesis. These results suggest that RB consumption improves insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction in diet-induced obesity, which is concomitant with suppression of NLRP3 inflammasome elicited by HFD. Thus, dietary RB intake is a promising strategy for ameliorating diet-induced metabolic abnormalities.

Keywords: High-fat diet; Inflammasome; Insulin resistance; Liver; Mitochondriogenesis; Obesity; Red raspberry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Inflammasomes / drug effects*
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein / metabolism*
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Rubus*


  • Inflammasomes
  • Insulin
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • Nlrp3 protein, mouse