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PPAR Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7359521, 13 pages
Research Article

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Regulates PPAR’s Levels in Stem Cells-Derived Adipocytes

1Department of Drug Science, Biochemistry Section, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
2Department of Surgery and Medical Specialties, Section of Hematology, University of Catania, Via Salvatore Citelli 6, 95124 Catania, Italy
3IRCCS “S. Donato” Hospital, San Donato Milanese, Piazza Edmondo Malan, 20097 Milan, Italy
4Department of Biomedicine and Biotechnologies, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy

Received 27 July 2015; Accepted 30 December 2015

Academic Editor: Paulina Ormazabal

Copyright © 2016 Luca Vanella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypertrophic obesity inhibits activation of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), considered the key mediator of the fully differentiated and insulin sensitive adipocyte phenotype. We examined the effects of Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (Cape), isolated from propolis, a honeybee hive product, on Adipose Stem Cells (ASCs) differentiation to the adipocyte lineage. Finally we tested the effects of Cape on insulin-resistant adipocytes. Quantification of Oil Red O-stained cells showed that lipid droplets decreased following Cape treatment as well as radical oxygen species formation. Additionally, exposure of ASC to high glucose levels decreased adiponectin and increased proinflammatory cytokines mRNA levels, which were reversed by Cape-mediated increase of insulin sensitivity. Cape treatment resulted in decreased triglycerides synthesis and increased beta-oxidation. Exposure of ASCs to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced a reduction of PPARγ, an increase of IL-6 levels associated with a well-known stimulation of lipolysis; Cape partially attenuated the LPS-mediated effects. These observations reveal the main role of PPARγ in the adipocyte function and during ASC differentiation. As there is now substantial interest in functional food and nutraceutical products, the observed therapeutic value of Cape in insulin-resistance related diseases should be taken into consideration.