Triterpenoid CDDO-EA inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in skeletal muscle cells through suppression of NF-κB

Phoebe Fang Mei Chang, Daniel Acevedo, Lawrence J. Mandarino, Sara M. Reyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance, which then can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Skeletal muscle plays a pivotal role in insulin-stimulated whole-body glucose disposal. Therefore, dysregulation of glucose metabolism by inflammation in skeletal muscle can adversely affect skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and contribute to the pathogenesis of T2D. The mechanism underlying insulin resistance is not well known; however, macrophages are important initiators in the development of the chronic inflammatory state leading to insulin resistance. Skeletal muscle consists of resident macrophages which can be activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). These activated macrophages affect myocytes via a paracrine action of pro-inflammatory mediators resulting in secretion of myokines that contribute to inflammation and ultimately skeletal muscle insulin resistance. Therefore, knowing that synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acids (CDDOs) can attenuate macrophage pro-inflammatory responses in chronic disorders, such as cancer and obesity, and that macrophage pro-inflammatory responses can modulate skeletal muscle inflammation, we first examined whether CDDO-ethyl amide (CDDO-EA) inhibited chemokine and cytokine production in macrophages since this had not been reported for CDDO-EA. CDDO-EA blocked LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukine-1beta (IL-1β), and interleukine-6 (IL-6) production in RAW 264.7 mouse and THP-1 human macrophages. Although many studies show that CDDOs have anti-inflammatory properties in several tissues and cells, little is known about the anti-inflammatory effects of CDDOs on skeletal muscle. We hypothesized that CDDO-EA protects skeletal muscle from LPS-induced inflammation by blocking nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. Our studies demonstrate that CDDO-EA prevented LPS-induced TNF-α and MCP-1 gene expression by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway in L6-GLUT4myc rat myotubes. Our findings suggest that CDDO-EA suppresses LPS-induced inflammation in macrophages and myocytes and that CDDO-EA is a promising compound as a therapeutic agent for protecting skeletal muscle from inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Inflammation
  • insulin resistance
  • macrophage
  • nuclear factor kappa B
  • skeletal muscle cells
  • triterpenoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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