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Open Access Research article

Effect of cinnamon water extract on monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation and scavenger receptor activity

Hee Kang1*, Sung-Hyun Park1, Jeong-Moon Yun1, Tae-Gyu Nam2, Young-Eun Kim2, Dae-Ok Kim2 and Youn Jung Kim3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of East-west Medical Science, Graduate School of East-west Medical Science, KyungHee University, Yongin, South Korea

2 Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, KyungHee University, Yongin, South Korea

3 College of Nursing Science, KyungHee University, Seoul, South Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:90  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-90

Published: 7 March 2014



Water soluble cinnamon extract has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and modulate macrophage activation, a desirable trait for the management of obesity or atherosclerosis. Our present study investigated whether cinnamon water extract (CWE) may influence the differentiation of monocytes into macrophages and the activity of macrophage scavenger receptors, commonly observed in atherosclerotic lesions.


We investigated the effect of CWE on the expression of various surface markers and the uptake of acetylated low density lipoprotein (LDL) in phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-stimulated THP-1 cells. The protein levels of PMA or macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)-stimulated type 1 macrophage scavenger receptor (SRA) were analyzed. Finally, the role of extracellar signal-related kinase (ERK) 1/2 in SRA synthesis and the effect of CWE on PMA-stimulated ERK1/2 were determined.


CWE inhibited the differentiation of monocyte by decreasing the expression of CD11b, CD36 and SRA and the uptake of acetyl LDL. CWE suppressed the upregulation of SRA by M-CSF and modulated ERK1/2 activity, which was required for PMA-induced SRA synthesis.


Our results demonstrate that CWE was able to interfere with monocyte differentiation and macrophage scavenger activity, indicating its potential in preventing the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Cinnamon water extract; Monocytes; Macrophages; Scavenger receptor; Atherosclerosis