Cranberry Extract Attenuates Hepatic Inflammation in High-Fat-Fed Obese Mice
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) consumption has been associated with health beneficial effects. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a comorbidity of obesity. In the present study, we investigated the effect of a polyphenol-rich cranberry extract (CBE) on hepatic inflammation in high fat (HF)-fed obese C57BL/6J mice. Following dietary treatment with 0.8% CBE for 10 weeks, we observed no change in body weight or visceral fat mass in CBE-supplemented mice compared to HF-fed control mice. We did observe a significant decrease in plasma alanine aminotransferase (31%) and histological severity of NAFLD (33% decrease in area of involvement, 29% decrease in lipid droplet size) compared to HF-fed controls. Hepatic protein levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha and C-C chemokine ligand 2 were reduced by 28% and 19%, respectively, following CBE supplementation. CBE significantly decreased hepatic mRNA levels of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4, 63%) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF kappa B, 24%), as well as a number of genes related to the nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-containing family, pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasome. In conclusion, CBE reduced NAFLD and hepatic inflammation in HF-fed obese C57BL/6J mice. These effects appear to be related to mitigation of TLR4-NF kappa B related signaling; however, further studies into the underlying mechanisms of these hepatoprotective effects are needed.