Purple corn extract induces long-lasting reprogramming and M2 phenotypic switch of adipose tissue macrophages in obese mice.
J Transl Med. 2019 Jul 23 ;17(1):237. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31337415
BACKGROUND: Obesity is a chronic and systemic inflammatory disorder and an important risk factor for the onset of several chronic syndromes. Adipose tissue (AT) plays a crucial role in the development of obesity, promoting the infiltration and accumulation of leukocytes in the tissue and sustaining adipocyte expansion. Anthocyanins exert a broad range of health benefits, but their effect in improving obesity-related inflammation in vivo has been poorly characterized. We examined the effects of a purple corn cob extract in the context of AT inflammation in a murine diet-induced obesity (DIO) model.
METHODS: Male C57BL/6J mice were subjected to control diet (CTR + HO), high fat diet (HF + HO) or high fat diet plus purple corn extract (HF + RED) for 12 weeks. Blood glucose, AT, and liver gene expression, metabolism, biochemistry, and histology were analysed and flow cytometry was performed on AT leukocytes and Kupffer cells.
RESULTS: RED extract intake resulted in lower MCP-1 mediated recruitment and proliferation of macrophages into crown-like structures in the AT. AT macrophages (ATM) of HF + RED group upregulated M2 markers (ArgI, Fizz1, TGFβ), downregulating inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, COX-2) thanks to the suppression of NF-kB signalling. ATM also increased the expression of iron metabolism-related genes (FABP4, Hmox1, Ferroportin, CD163, TfR1, Ceruloplasmin,FtL1, FtH1) associated with a reduction in iron storage and increased turnover. ATM from HF + RED mice did not respond to LPS treatment ex vivo, confirming the long-lasting effects of the treatment on M2 polarization. Adipocytes of HF + RED group improved lipid metabolism and displayed a lower inflammation grade. Liver histology revealed a remarkable reduction of steatosis in the HF + RED group, and Kupffer cell profiling displayed a marked switch towards the M2 phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: RED extract attenuated AT inflammation in vivo, with a long-lasting reprogramming of ATM and adipocyte profiles towards the anti-inflammatory phenotype, therefore representing a valuable supplement in the context of obesity-associated disorders.