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Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1172-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.03.020. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Cinnamon polyphenols regulate multiple metabolic pathways involved in insulin signaling and intestinal lipoprotein metabolism of small intestinal enterocytes.

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United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, USA.



Increasing evidence suggests that dietary factors may affect the expression of multiple genes and signaling pathways, which regulate intestinal lipoprotein metabolism. The small intestine is actively involved in the regulation of dietary lipid absorption, intracellular transport, and metabolism and is closely linked to systemic lipid metabolism. Cinnamon polyphenols have been shown to improve glucose, insulin, and lipid metabolism and improve inflammation in cell culture, animal, and human studies. However, little is known of the effects of an aqueous cinnamon extract (CE) on the regulation of genes and signaling pathways related to intestinal metabolism. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of a CE on the primary enterocytes of chow-fed rats.


Freshly isolated intestinal enterocytes were used to investigate apolipoprotein-B48 secretion by immunoprecipitation; gene expressions by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and the protein and phosphorylation levels were evaluated by western blot and flow cytometric analyses.


Ex vivo, the CE significantly decreased the amount of apolipoprotein-B48 secretion into the media, inhibited the mRNA expression of genes of the inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and induced the expression of the anti-inflammatory gene, Zfp36. CE also increased the mRNA expression of genes leading to increased insulin sensitivity, including Ir, Irs1, Irs2, Pi3k, and Akt1, and decreased Pten expression. CE also inhibited genes associated with increased cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and apolipoprotein-B48 levels, including Abcg5, Npc1l1, Cd36, Mttp, and Srebp1c, and facilitated Abca1 expression. CE also stimulated the phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and extracellular-signal-regulated kinase expressions determined by flow cytometry, with no changes in protein levels.


These results demonstrate that the CE regulates genes associated with insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and cholesterol/lipogenesis metabolism and the activity of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signal pathway in intestinal lipoprotein metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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