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Life Sci. 2008 Jan 30;82(5-6):290-300. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.11.016. Epub 2007 Dec 5.

Induction of adiponectin by natural and synthetic phenolamides in mouse and human preadipocytes and its enhancement by docosahexaenoic acid.

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  • 1Institute for Biological Resources and Functions, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan.


Adiponectin, the adipose-derived cytokine, plays an important role in preventing metabolic syndromes. To develop new adiponectin inducers, eight species of ferulic esters and amides, and five related compounds were synthesized and tested on the stimulation of adiponectin production in mouse 3T3-L1 and normal human preadipocytes. The ferulamides with an aromatic ring in the N-substituent are very active in inducing adiponectin as compared with the known active compounds, curcumin, [6]-gingerol, and capsaicin, and furthermore the activities of these ferulamides are remarkably stronger than those of the corresponding esters or the straight chain octylamide. The most active compound, N-(2-phenylethyl)ferulamide (7), was found to activate the PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) gamma-RXR (retinoid X receptor) alpha heterodimeric complex in the PPRE (PPAR-responsive element)-driven luciferase reporter assay. The adiponectin production by 7 is synergistically enhanced by coaddition of a PPARgamma-specific agonist, pioglitazone (PGZ), or another PPARgamma agonist, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in cultured preadipocytes. The compound 7 alone did not show a statistically significant effect on the plasma adiponectin level in KK-A(y)/Ta mice, while 1% 7 in the diets significantly lowered the blood glucose and triglyceride levels and 0.3% 7 mixed with DHA oil in the diets significantly increased the adiponectin level as compared with the control. These results suggest that the present ferulamides would be useful lead compounds in developing more potent agents for treatment of metabolic syndromes through promoting the endogenous adiponectin production, and that such an activity is possibly enhanced by the coadministration with DHA.

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