Cinnamon Polyphenol Extract and Insulin Regulate Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase Gene Expression in Mouse Adipocytes and Macrophages

  • Heping Cao
  • Kandan Sethumadhavan
  • Ke Li
  • Stephen M. Boue
  • Richard A. Anderson
Original Paper


Cinnamon polyphenol extract (CPE) improves people with insulin resistance. The objective was to investigate CPE and insulin on diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) gene expression important for lipid biosynthesis and compared it to anti-inflammatory tristetraprolin/zinc finger protein 36 (TTP/ZFP36) gene expression known to be regulated by both agents. Mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes and RAW264.7 macrophages were treated with insulin and CPE followed by qPCR evaluation of DGAT and TTP mRNA levels. Insulin decreased DGAT1 and DGAT2 mRNA levels in adipocytes but had no effect on DGAT1 and increased DGAT2 mRNA levels 3-fold in macrophages. Insulin increased TTP mRNA levels 3-fold in adipocytes but had no effect in macrophages. CPE effect on DGAT1 gene expression was minimal but increased DGAT2 mRNA levels 2–4 fold in adipocytes and macrophages. CPE increased TTP mRNA levels 2–7 fold in adipocytes and macrophages. We conclude that CPE and insulin exhibited overlapping and independent effects on DGAT and TTP gene expression and suggest that CPE and insulin have profound effects on fat biosynthesis and inflammatory responses.


Adipocyte Cinnamon polyphenol extract Diacylglycerol acyltransferases Gene expression Inflammation Macrophage Tristetraprolin 



AU-rich element


cinnamon polyphenol extract


diacylglycerol acyltransferase


Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium




granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor


quantitative real-time PCR


ribosomal protein L32




tumor necrosis factor alpha


tristetraprolin/zinc finger protein 36





This work was supported by the USDA-ARS Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products National Program 306 through Research Project 6054-41000-103-00-D. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


This work was supported by the USDA-ARS Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products National Program 306 through Research Project 6054–41000–103-00-D. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceSouthern Regional Research CenterNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Molecular Engineering of Ministry of EducationShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  3. 3.PolyChrom Technology, LLCEdgewaterUSA

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