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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Dec;61(12). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700362. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Anthocyanins from Purple Corn Ameliorated Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-Induced Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes via Activation of Insulin Signaling and Enhanced GLUT4 Translocation.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.



The aim was to compare the effect of an anthocyanin-rich extract from purple corn pericarp (PCW) and pure anthocyanins on adipogenesis, inflammation, and insulin resistance in 3T3-L1 adipocytes on basal and inflammatory conditions.


Preadipocytes (3T3-L1) were treated during differentiation with or without PCW. Differentiated adipocytes were treated either individually or in combination with tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and PCW, or pure C3G, Pr3G, P3G. PCW reduced preadipocyte differentiation (IC50 = 0.4 mg/mL). PCW and pure anthocyanins including C3G reduced fatty acid synthase enzymatic activity. PCW reduced TNF-α-dependent inflammatory status increasing adiponectin (39%), and decreasing leptin (-79%). PCW and C3G increased glucose uptake and reduced reactive oxygen species generation in insulin resistant adipocytes. An increase in phosphorylation was observed in AKT, IKK, and MEK, and a decrease in IRS and mTOR activating the insulin receptor-associated pathway. PCW (7.5-fold) and C3G (6.3-fold) enhanced GLUT4 membrane translocation compared to insulin resistant adipocytes.


Anthocyanins from colored corn prevented adipocyte differentiation, lipid accumulation, and reduced PPAR-γ transcriptional activity on adipocytes in basal conditions. Ameliorated TNF-α-induced inflammation and insulin resistance in adipocytes via activation of insulin signaling and enhanced GLUT4 translocation suggesting a reduced hyperglycemia associated with the metabolic syndrome.


anthocyanins; inflammation; obesity; polyphenols; purple corn

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