Giovanni Monastra, Riccardo Gambioli, Vittorio Unfer, Gianpiero Forte, Elsa Maymo-Masip, Raffaella Comitato

White adipose tissue/brown adipose tissue trans-differentiation is one of the main study targets for therapies against obesity and metabolic diseases. In recent years, numerous molecules able to induce such trans-differentiation have been identified; however, their effect in obesity therapies has not been as expected. In the present study, we investigated whether myo-inositol and its stereoisomer D-chiro-inositol could be involved in the browning of white adipose tissue. Our preliminary results clearly indicate that both, at 60 μM concentration, induce the upregulation of uncoupling protein 1 mRNA expression, the main brown adipose tissue marker, and increase mitochondrial copy number as well as oxygen consumption ratio. These changes demonstrate an activation of cell metabolism. Therefore, our results show that human differentiated adipocytes (SGBS and LiSa-2), assume the features typical of brown adipose tissue after both treatments. Furthermore, in the cell lines examined, we proved that D-chiro-inositol and myo-Inositol induce an increase in the expression of estrogen receptor mRNAs, suggesting a possible modulation by these isomers. We also found an increase in the mRNA of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, a very important target in lipid metabolism and metabolic diseases. Our results open new opportunities for the use of inositols in therapeutic strategies to counteract obesity and its metabolic complications.