Capsaicin, nonivamide and trans-pellitorine decrease free fatty acid uptake without TRPV1 activation and increase acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase activity in Caco-2 cells
Red pepper and its major pungent component, capsaicin, have been associated with hypolipidemic effects in rats, although mechanistic studies on the effects of capsaicin and/or structurally related compounds on lipid metabolism are scarce. In this work, the effects of capsaicin and its structural analog nonivamide, the aliphatic alkamide trans-pellitorine and vanillin as the basic structural element of all vanilloids on the mechanisms of intestinal fatty acid uptake in differentiated intestinal Caco-2 cells were studied. Capsaicin and nonivamide were found to reduce fatty acid uptake, with IC50 values of 0.49 μM and 1.08 μM, respectively. trans-Pellitorine was shown to reduce fatty acid uptake by 14.0 ± 2.14% at 100 μM, whereas vanillin was not effective, indicating a pivotal role of the alkyl chain with the acid amide group in fatty acid uptake by Caco-2 cells. This effect was associated neither with the activation of the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) or the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) nor with effects on paracellular transport or glucose uptake. However, acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase activity increased (p < 0.05) in the presence of 10 μM capsaicin, nonivamide or trans-pellitorine, pointing to an increased fatty acid biosynthesis that might counteract the decreased fatty acid uptake.