Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2009
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Citation: Cao, H. 2010. Cinnamon and immune actions: Potential role in tristetraprolinmediated inflammatory diseases. In: Watson, R.R., Zibadi, S., Preedy, V.R., editors. Dietary Components and Immune Function. New York, NY: Humana Press. p. 553-565. Technical Abstract: Inflammatory diseases have placed a heavy burden on the American health care system. Drug treatment for reducing inflammation and associated diseases has not been satisfactory. Complementary and alternative approaches are urgently needed. Bioactive plant extracts have been used for preventing and treating various diseases throughout man’s recorded history. The anti-inflammatory properties of botanical extracts are proposed to play a key role, but the precise mechanisms are poorly understood. Tristetraprolin (TTP) is a zinc-dependent mRNA binding protein that decreases the stability of many important pro-inflammatory cytokines. TTP-deficient mice develop a profound inflammatory syndrome with arthritis, autoimmunity, cachexia, dermatitis, and myeloid hyperplasia. The expression of TTP is reduced in fats of obese people with the metabolic syndrome and brains of suicide victims. TTP is also proposed as a target for cancer therapy due to its control of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA stability. Cinnamon extract (CE), like insulin, stimulates the expression of anti-inflammatory TTP in mouse adipocytes. CE, unlike insulin, also stimulates TTP expression in mouse macrophages. Given the importance of TTP in biology, inflammatory diseases, and nutrition, and the use of CE in alleviating insulin resistance and related diseases, it is important to identify the bioactive compound(s) in this plant extract for better understanding of its molecular mechanisms. This chapter reviews the biological, medical, and nutritional significance of TTP, and the potentials of cinnamon in TTP-mediated inflammatory diseases.