The role of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholic acid in inflammation

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Phosphatidylcholine with deoxycholic acid (PC/DA) is widely used to reduce localized fat deposits with mild adverse effects. We previously demonstrated that PC induces lipolysis with mild PMN infiltration, while DA induces adipose tissue damage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to extend our understanding of the pro-inflammatory responses of PC, DA, and PC/DA.

Main methods:

We evaluated the level of edema and polymononuclear (PMN) infiltration by histopathological examination. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity was analyzed using an MPO activity assay kit. Levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6) and PGE2 were measured by ELISA.

Key findings:

A low and high dose of PC failed to induce an inflammatory response, whereas DA led to an intense inflammatory response in a dose dependent manner. Combined PC/DA treatment resulted in a mild inflammatory response that was notably less severe than higher DA. Together, these results demonstrated that DA plays a role in inflammation caused by combined PC/DA. Histopathological examination and measurement of MPO activity indicated that DA was the primary cause of edema and PMN infiltration. Further, increased levels of cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6) and PGE2 demonstrated that DA might directly induce inflammation, whereas PC alone has no effect on inflammation.


These results indicate that DA rather than PC is responsible for inflammation, and that PC may not aggravate inflammatory responses induced by DA. Thus, the results of this study suggest that the adverse effects of PC/DA during localized fat treatment may be solely due to DA.

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