Mechanisms Mediating Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Delta-Tocotrienol and Tart Cherry Anthocyanins in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Lexie Harlan, London T Mena, Latha Ramalingam, Shasika Jayarathne, Chwan-Li Shen, Naima Moustaid-Moussa

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9 Scopus citations


Chronic low-grade inflammation is a primary characteristic of obesity and can lead to other metabolic complications including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Several anti-inflammatory dietary bioactives decrease inflammation that accompanies metabolic diseases. We are specifically interested in delta-tocotrienol, (DT3) an isomer of vitamin E, and tart cherry anthocyanins (TCA), both of which possess individual anti-inflammatory properties. We have previously demonstrated that DT3 and TCA, individually, reduced systemic and adipose tissue inflammation in rodent models of obesity. However, whether these compounds have combinatorial effects has not been determined yet. Hence, we hypothesize that a combined treatment of DT3 and TCA will have great effects in reducing inflammation in adipocytes, and that these effects are mediated via the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFkB), a major inflammatory transcription factor. We used 3T3-L1 adipocytes and treated them with 1-5 µM doses of DT3 along with tart cherry containing 18-36 µg anthocyanin/mL, to assess effects on inflammation. Neither DT3 nor TCA, nor their combinations had toxic effects on adipocytes. Furthermore, pro-inflammatory markers interleukin-6 (IL-6) and p-65 (subunit of NFkB) were reduced at the protein level in media collected from adipocytes with both individual and combined treatments. Additionally, other downstream targets of NFkB including macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (Mip2), and Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox2) were also significantly downregulated (p ≤ 0.05) when treated with individual and combined doses of DT3 and TCA with no additional combinatorial effects. In summary, DT3 and TCA individually, are beneficial in reducing inflammation with no additional combinatorial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 30 2020
Externally publishedYes


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