Adipose tissue may be the source of insulin desensitizing proinflammatory molecules that predispose to insulin resistance. This study investigated whether dietary fatty acids could attenuate the proinflammatory insulin-resistant state in obese adipose tissue. The potential antidiabetic effect of cis-9, trans-11-conjugated linoleic acid (c9,t11-CLA) was determined, focusing on the molecular markers of insulin sensitivity and inflammation in adipose tissue of ob/ob C57BL-6 mice. Feeding a c9,t11-CLA-enriched diet reduced fasting glucose (P < 0.05), insulin (P < 0.05), and triacylglycerol concentrations (P < 0.01) and increased adipose tissue plasma membrane GLUT4 (P < 0.05) and insulin receptor (P < 0.05) expression compared with the control linoleic acid-enriched diet. Interestingly, after the c9,t11-CLA diet, adipose tissue macrophage infiltration was less, with marked downregulation of several inflammatory markers in adipose tissue, including reduced tumor necrosis factor-alpha and CD68 mRNA (P < 0.05), nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) p65 expression (P < 0.01), NF-kappaB DNA binding (P < 0.01), and NF-kappaB p65, p50, c-Rel, p52, and RelB transcriptional activity (P < 0.01). To define whether these observations were direct effects of the nutrient intervention, complimentary cell culture studies showed that c9,t11-CLA inhibited tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced downregulation of insulin receptor substrate 1 and GLUT4 mRNA expression and promoted insulin-stimulated glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared with linoleic acid. This study suggests that altering fatty acid composition may attenuate the proinflammatory state in adipose tissue that predisposes to obesity-induced insulin resistance.
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