Due to the progressive increase in the incidence of obese and overweight individuals, cardiometabolic syndrome has become a worldwide pandemic in recent years. Given the immunomodulatory properties of riboflavin, the current study was performed to investigate the potency of riboflavin in reducing obesity-related inflammation, which is the main cause of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus 2 or arteriosclerosis. We determined whether pretreatment with a low dose of riboflavin (10.4–1000 nM) affected the pro-inflammatory activity of adipocyte-macrophage co-culture (3T3 L1-RAW 264.7) following lipopolysaccharide stimulation (LPS; 100 ng/mL) which mimics obesity-related inflammation. The apoptosis of adipocytes and macrophages as well as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 1beta (IL-1β), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), transforming growth factor–beta 1 (TGFβ), interleukin 10 (IL-10), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), nitric oxide (NO), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) expression and release, macrophage migration and adipokines (adiponectin and leptin) were determined. Our results indicated an efficient reduction in pro-inflammatory factors (TNFα, IL-6, MCP-1, HMGB1) upon culture with riboflavin supplementation (500–1000 nM), accompanied by elevation in anti-inflammatory adiponectin and IL-10. Moreover, macrophage migration was reduced by the attenuation of chemotactic MCP-1 release and degradation of the extracellular matrix by MMP-9. In conclusion, riboflavin effectively inhibits the pro-inflammatory activity of adipocyte and macrophage co-cultures, and therefore we can assume that its supplementation may reduce the likelihood of conditions associated with the mild inflammation linked to obesity.
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