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Metallomics. 2013 May;5(5):524-31. doi: 10.1039/c3mt20209g. Epub 2013 Mar 18.

Bioeffects of a combination of trace elements on adipocyte biology.

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INRA, UMR_INRA 1260, Marseille, 13005, France.


The white adipose tissue plays a major role in the development of obesity and associated metabolic complications by producing a variety of pro and anti-inflammatory adipokines. Recently, studies in humans or in animals have shown a beneficial effect of certain trace elements such as zinc on insulin resistance and adipokine secretion. The aim of our study was to test the effect of a zinc-nickel-cobalt solution (ZnNiCo) on adipocyte function and to identify potential health effects of this solution in the context of obesity and associated disorders. No impact of ZnNiCo on adipogenesis was observed in 3T3-L1 cells. Gene expression in murine and human adipocytes was examined in the presence of ZnNiCo using whole genome microarrays. This transcriptomic analysis indicated that ZnNiCo affected the expression levels of genes in adipocytes under basal conditions or incubated with TNF-α and showed a down regulation of several inflammatory genes belonging to the cytokine and chemokine families (P < 0.01). These data were confirmed in mice fed with a high fat diet supplemented with ZnNiCo (P < 0.05). A modulation of NF-κB activation (evaluated by ELISA; P < 0.05) by ZnNiCo could explain at least in part these observations. The trace elements present in ZnNiCo are able to modulate the expression level of several inflammation related transcripts in adipocytes. These studies suggest that ZnNiCo could play a role in the prevention of inflammation in adipose tissue in obesity.

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