Publications

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Citrus aurantium L. (bitter orange) is frequently used as an ingredient of food supplements aimed to reduce body weight or improve general physical performances. The most active compounds of C. aurantium are amines having adrenergic activity: octopamine, synephrine, tyramine, N-methyl-tyramine and hordenine. The quantification of these amines is critical since their content in food supplements is regulated by national/international rules. Some methods for the quantification of C. aurantium amines have been published, including the official method developed by AOAC, but most of them are not totally satisfactory for the analysis of complex matrixes, such as extracts or food supplements. A new HPLC–UV–fluorescence procedure has therefore been developed; the method is quick and simple, and allows the analysis of samples after a rapid extraction procedure without any further cleaning step. The assay, using one or two detectors, showed good results during the validation tests performed according to the FDA guidelines.
    Food Control 12/2014; 46:136–142. · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Malaria remains one of the world's most common infectious diseases, being responsible for more deaths than any other communicable disease except tuberculosis. There is strong evidence that tumour necrosis factor α and interleukin-1β are important contributors to the systemic disease caused by the infection with P. falciparum. Circulating levels of TNFα are increased after infection, as a consequence of stimulation of monocyte-macrophages by infected red blood cells or parasite products, as shown in vitro for the malaria pigment haemozoin. TNFα in turn enhances the synthesis of metalloproteinase-9 in monocytes and macrophages. Metalloproteinase-9 acts on the extracellular matrix but also on non-traditional substrates, including precursors of inflammatory cytokines, which are proteolytically activated and contribute to the amplification of the inflammatory response. The aim of the present work was to establish whether artemisinin and its derivatives artemisone, artesunate and dihydroartemisinin possess immuno-modulatory properties. In particular, it is necessary to evaluate their effects on mRNA levels and secretion of MMP-9 by the human monocytic cell line (THP-1 cells) stimulated by hemozoin or TNFα. 5μM of each derivative, although not artemisinin itself, induced significantly inhibited TNFα production. Artesunate, artemisone and DHA antagonized haemozoin -induced MMP-9 secretion by 25%, 24% and 50%, respectively. mRNA levels were also depressed by 14%, 20% and 27%, respectively, thus reflecting in part the effect observed on protein production. The derivatives significantly inhibited both TNFα-induced MMP-9 secretion and mRNA levels to a greater extent than haemozoin itself. Both haemozoin and TNFα increased NF-κB driven transcription by 11 and 7.7 fold, respectively. Artesunate, artemisone and DHA inhibited haemozoin-induced NF-κB driven transcription by 28%, 34%, and 49% respectively. Similarly the derivatives, but not artemisinin, prevented TNFα-induced NF-κB driven transcription by 47-51%. The study indicates that artemisinins may attenuate the inflammatory potential of monocytes in vivo. Thus, in addition to direct anti-parasitic activities, the beneficial clinical effects of artemisinins for the treatment of malaria include the apparent ability to attenuate the inflammatory response, thus limiting the risk of progression to the more severe form of the disease, including the onset of cerebral malaria.
    Acta tropica. 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Canthium henriquesianum (K. Schum) is traditionally used in Burkina Faso for the treatment of malaria, but has not been properly investigated, yet. The aim of this study was to characterize in vitro the antiplasmodial and the anti-inflammatory activity of extracts from Canthium henriquesianum (K. Schum). In parallel, extracts of Gardenia sokotensis (Hutch) and Vernonia colorata (Willd), also traditionally used together in Burkina Faso and already reported with antimalarial activity, were compared. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Plant extracts were tested in vitro for antimalarial activity against chloroquine susceptible (D10) and resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum using the lactate dehydrogenase assay. Cell cytotoxicity was assessed on human dermal fibroblast (HDF) by the MTT assay. The selectivity index (SI) was used as the ratio of the activity against the parasites compared to the toxicity of the plant extract against HDF. In vitro cytokine production was assessed by ELISA technique. RESULTS: C. henriquesianum aqueous extract had a moderate antimalarial activity (IC50 <50µg/ml) with a good selectivity index (SI=HDF/D10 >7). C. henriquesianum diisopropyl ether extract was the most potent inhibitor of parasite growth with an IC50 9.5µg/ml on W2 and 8.8µg/ml on D10 and limited toxicity (SI>2). G. sokotensis and V. colorata aqueous extracts were shown to be significantly less active (IC50 ≥50µg/ml) with substantial toxicity. In addition, when the production of IL-1β and TNFα by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or hemozoin (malaria pigment) stimulated human THP1 monocyte was assayed, it was found that the extract of C. henriquesianum induced a dose-dependent inhibition of IL-1β, but not of TNFα production, thus confirming its traditional use as antipyretic. By NMR analysis, the chromone was identified as the mostly represented compound in the diisopropyl ether extract of C. henriquesianum. Chromone however, was less active as antimalarial than the crude extract and it did not inhibit cytokine production at not toxic doses, indicating that other molecules in the total extracts contribute to the antiplasmodial and anti-inflammatory activity. CONCLUSION: C. henriquesianum seems to possess antimalarial activity in vitro and the ability to inhibit the production of the pyrogenic cytokine IL-1β.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 05/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigates whether infusions of green and black tea inhibit the NF-κB driven transcription in human epithelial gastric AGS cells. Water extracts were prepared from different brands of green and black tea available on the Italian market. Teas with or without caffeine were studied. An industrially prepared freeze-dried water extract of green tea was also tested. Catechin and caffeine contents were measured by HPLC analysis. The decrease in phenol and catechin content three months after the expiry date was also investigated. The NF-κB driven transcription and the free radical scavenger activity were inhibited, and this effect was related to catechin levels. The potency of epigallocatechin 3-gallate in inhibiting NF-κB driven transcription is so great that tea extracts low in epigallocatechin 3-gallate are still highly active. In one decaffeinated sample of green tea, the phenol and catechin content was very low, probably as a consequence of caffeine removal. The decrease in catechin levels after 3 months did not reduce the inhibition of NF-κB driven transcription by tea infusions. This is the first paper reporting the inhibitory effect of NF-κB of commercial green and black infusions at the gastric level, evaluating their stability as well.
    Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 05/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ellagitannins have shown anti-inflammatory and anti-Helicobacter pylori properties; however, their anti-inflammatory activity at gastric level was not previously investigated. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of ellagitannins from Rubus berries on gastric inflammation. Ellagitannin enriched extracts (ETs) were prepared from Rubus fruticosus L. (blackberry) and Rubus idaeus L. (raspberry). The anti-inflammatory activity was tested on gastric cell line AGS stimulated by TNF-α and IL-1β for evaluating the effect on NF-kB driven transcription, nuclear translocation and IL-8 secretion. In vivo the protective effect of ellagitannins was evaluated in a rat model of ethanol-induced gastric lesions. Rats were treated orally for ten days with 20 mg/kg/day of ETs, and ethanol was given one hour before the sacrifice. Gastric mucosa was isolated and used for the determination of IL-8 release, NF-kB nuclear translocation, Trolox equivalents, superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. In vitro, ETs inhibited TNF-α induced NF-kB driven transcription (IC50: 0.67-1.73 µg/mL) and reduced TNF-α-induced NF-kB nuclear translocation (57%-67% at 2 µg/mL). ETs inhibited IL-8 secretion induced by TNF-α and IL-1β at low concentrations (IC50 range of 0.7-4 µg/mL). Sanguiin H-6 and lambertianin C, the major ETs present in the extracts, were found to be responsible, at least in part, for the effect of the mixtures. ETs of blackberry and raspberry decreased Ulcer Index by 88% and 75% respectively and protected from the ethanol induced oxidative stress in rats. CINC-1 (the rat homologue of IL-8) secretion in the gastric mucosa was reduced in the animals receiving blackberry and raspberry ETs. The effect of ETs on CINC-1 was associated to a decrease of NF-κB nuclear translocation in ETs treated animals. The results of the present study report for the first time the preventing effect of ETs in gastric inflammation and support for their use in dietary regimens against peptic ulcer.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e71762. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this systematic review is to summarize the evidence for or against the efficacy of plant food supplements (PFS) for coping inflammatory conditions by considering epidemiological and human intervention studies. The review considers six botanical species commonly used as food supplements/medicinals: Urtica dioica L., Symphytum officinalis L., Calendula officinalis L., Curcuma longa L., Boswellia serrata Roxb., and Harpagophytum procumbens L. The search retrieved 579 publications. By removing the duplicates and applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria, the final number of papers was 47. No epidemiological data were found. The bibliographic search found no paper regarding the anti-inflammatory effects of Calendula officinalis L. and Symphytum officinalis L. by oral use. In spite of the long-term traditional use for inflammatory disorders, Curcuma longa L. and Harpagophytum procumbens L. warrant further investigation, whereas the efficacy of Urtica dioica L, even if the available data on hard endpoints are promising, requires other trials. Boswellia serrata Roxb. was found to be the most promising, since it shows the best efficacy for the treatment of pain/inflammatory conditions. In conclusion, it is advisable to conduct further studies with more homogeneous population and larger number of subjects by avoiding the heterogeneity of the herbal preparations considered.
    Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 01/2013; 53(5):507-16. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Plant food supplements (PFS) receive great acceptance by European consumers. However, quality and efficacy of these products remain a question of concern. The aim of this systematic review is to summarize and critically evaluate the evidence for or against the efficacy of PFS for coping inflammatory conditions by considering epidemiological and human intervention studies. The review, which consists of two parts, considers Olea europea L., Camellia sinensis L., Vitis vinifera L., and Matricaria recutita L., which are herbal material frequently used also as food. The search retrieved 1251 publications. By applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria, the final number of papers was 91. Vitis vinifera L. showed promising results, but other trials should be performed in order to assessing the efficacy. Surprisingly, it was impossible to draw conclusions for the anti-inflammatory effect of Camellia sinensis L. as green tea. No studies were found on the leaves of Olea europea L. whereas more human trials are needed to assess the anti-inflammatory effect of olive oil. Only one study for Matricaria recutita L. was selected. In conclusion, it is advisable to conduct further studies with more homogeneous population and larger number of subjects by avoiding the heterogeneity of the herbal preparations considered.
    Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 01/2013; 53(4):403-13. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Elisa Colombo, Enrico Sangiovanni, Mario Dell'agli
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several biological activities of pomegranate have been widely described in the literature, but the anti-inflammatory effect in the gastrointestinal tract has not been reviewed till now. The aim of the present paper is to summarize the evidence for or against the efficacy of pomegranate for coping with inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract. The paper has been organized in three parts: (1) the first one is devoted to the modifications of pomegranate active compounds in the gastro-intestinal tract; (2) the second one considering the literature regarding the anti-inflammatory effect of pomegranate at gastric level; (3) the third part considers the anti-inflammatory effect of pomegranate in the gut. In vivo studies performed on the whole fruit or juice, peel, and flowers demonstrate antiulcer effect in a variety of animal models. Ellagic acid was the main responsible for this effect, although other individual ellagitannins could contribute to the biological activity of the mixture. Different preparations of pomegranate, including extracts from peels, flowers, seeds, and juice, show a significant anti-inflammatory activity in the gut. No clinical studies have been found, thus suggesting that future clinical studies are necessary to clarify the beneficial effects of pomegranate in the gastrointestinal tract.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:247145. · 1.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome is defined as the clustering in an individual of several metabolic abnormalities associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, in which low-grade chronic inflammatory activity is commonly observed. Part of the European Project PlantLIBRA is concerned with methods to assess the benefits of plant food supplements (PFSs) in countering inflammatory activity and metabolic syndrome. This paper summarizes the current methods used for benefit assessment of PFS, taking into consideration only in vitro, in silico, and clinical methodologies used to investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of plants. No in silico studies (using computer simulation) related to metabolic syndrome were found; these methods appear to be used exclusively for identifying or testing potentially effective compounds in drug development. Most in vitro methods for the assessment of beneficial effects of botanicals or plant food supplements in diabetes were based on a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas the preferred kind of clinical study was the double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. Only two parameters were observed to change after treatment with botanicals in both in vitro and in vivo studies: interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor- α , and these biomarkers should be carefully considered in future studies for PFS benefit assessment.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:782461. · 1.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of new potent inhibitors of the growth of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine (CQ)-resistant W2 strain. These compounds were designed using the double drug approach by introducing a residue able to enhance the accumulation of plasmepsins inhibitors into the food vacuole. Some of the molecules were more active than CQ against CQ-resistant strain and showed good selectivity against cathepsin D.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 07/2012; 22(18):5915-8. · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sardinia is a Mediterranean area endemic for malaria up to the last century. During a screening study to evaluate the anti-plasmodial activity of some aromatic plants traditionally used in Sardinia, Myrtus communis (myrtle, Myrtaceae), Satureja thymbra (savory, Lamiaceae), and Thymus herba-barona (caraway thyme, Lamiaceae) were collected in three vegetative periods: before, during and after flowering. The essential oils were obtained by steam distillation, fractionated by silica gel column chromatography and analysed by GC-FID-MS. Total oil and three main fractions were tested on D10 and W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. Larvicidal and adulticidal activities were tested on Anopheles gambiae susceptible strains. The essential oil of savory, rich in thymol, was the most effective against P. falciparum with an inhibitory activity independent from the time of collection (IC50 17-26 μg/ml on D10 and 9-11 μg/ml on W2). Upon fractionation, fraction 1 was enriched in mono-sesquiterpenoid hydrocarbons; fraction 2 in thymol (73-83%); and fraction 3 contained thymol, carvacrol and terpinen-4-ol, with a different composition depending on the time of collection. Thymol-enriched fractions were the most active on both strains (IC50 20-22 μg/ml on D10 and 8-10 μg/ml on W2) and thymol was confirmed as mainly responsible for this activity (IC50 19.7± 3.0 and 10.6 ± 2.0 μg/ml on D10 and W2, respectively). The essential oil of S. thymbra L. showed also larvicidal and adulticidal activities. The larvicidal activity, expressed as LC50, was 0.15 ± 0.002; 0.21 ± 0.13; and 0.15 ± 0.09 μg/ml (mean ± sd) depending on the time of collection: before, during and after flowering, respectively. This study provides evidence for the use of essential oils for treating malaria and fighting the vector at both the larval and adult stages. These findings open the possibility for further investigation aimed at the isolation of natural products with anti-parasitic properties.
    Malaria Journal 07/2012; 11:219. · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether the antiinflammatory effect of chamomile infusion at gastric level could be ascribed to the inhibition of metalloproteinase-9 and elastase. The infusions from capitula and sifted flowers (250-1500 µg/mL) and individual flavonoids (10 µ m) were tested on phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated AGS cells and human neutrophil elastase. The results indicate that the antiinflammatory activity associated with chamomile infusions from both the capitula and sifted flowers is most likely due to the inhibition of neutrophil elastase and gastric metalloproteinase-9 activity and secretion; the inhibition occurring in a concentration dependent manner. The promoter activity was inhibited as well and the decrease of metalloproteinase-9 expression was found to be associated with the inhibition of NF-kB driven transcription. The results further indicate that the flavonoid-7-glycosides, major constituents of chamomile flowers, may be responsible for the antiinflammatory action of the chamomile infusion observed here. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 03/2012; · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present work evaluates the effect of olive oil phenols on NF-κB activity in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. The total phenol content was measured by the Folin Ciocalteu method, whereas the composition was assessed by LC-MS/MS analysis. Secoiridoids represented 71% and 83% of the Italian and Spanish extracts, respectively, phenol alcohols were in the range 9-13%. Ligustroside aglycone was the most abundant (37% and 46%, respectively, in the Italian and Spanish sample), and the concentration of flavonoids AP and LU was below 1%. Phenol extracts were assayed at 0.25-7.5 µg/mL, whereas single compounds were at 0.5-25 µ m. Both the extracts inhibited the NF-κB driven transcription in a concentration-dependent manner: IC(50) for the Italian and the Spanish extract were 0.86 and 1.28 µg/mL, respectively. The IC(50) for individual compounds ranged from 4.5 to 13 µ m. All the compounds under study inhibited nuclear translocation as well. The data suggest that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil may be beneficial for preventing the onset of gastric inflammation leading to more serious diseases. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 02/2012; 26(10):1569-71. · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that PFOA and PFOS directly suppress cytokine secretion in immune cells, with different mechanisms of action. In particular, we have demonstrated a role for PPAR-α in PFOA-induced immunotoxicity, and that PFOS has an inhibitory effect on LPS-induced I-κB degradation. These studies investigate the immunomodulatory effects of four other PFCs, namely PFBS, PFOSA, PFDA, and fluorotelomer using in vitro assays. The release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α was evaluated in lipolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood leukocytes (hPBL) and in the human promyelocytic cell line THP-1, while the release of IL-10 and IFN-γ was evaluated in phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated hPBL. All PFCs suppressed LPS-induced TNF-α production in hPBL and THP-1 cells, while IL-6 production was suppressed by PFOSA, PFOS, PFDA and fluorotelomer. PFBS, PFOSA, PFOS, PFDA and fluorotelomer inhibited PHA-induced IL-10 release, while IFN-γ secretion was affected by PFOSA, PFOS, PFDA and fluorotelomer. Leukocytes obtained from female donors appear to be more sensitive to the in vitro immunotoxic effects of PFCs when their responses are compared to the results obtained using leukocytes from male donors. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that inhibition of TNF-α release in THP-1 cells occurred at the transcriptional level. All PFCs, including PFOA and PFOS, decreased LPS-induced NF-κB activation. With the exception of PFOA, none of the PFCs tested was able to activate PPARα driven transcription in transiently transfected THP-1 cells, excluding a role for PPARα in the immunomodulation observed. PFBS and PFDA prevented LPS-induced I-κB degradation. Overall, these studies suggest that PFCs affect NF-κB activation, which directly suppresses cytokine secretion by immune cells. Our results indicate that PFOA is the least active of the PFCs examined followed by PFBS, PFDA, PFOS, PFOSA and fluorotelomer.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 11/2011; 258(2):248-55. · 3.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is evidence from both epidemiology and laboratory studies that perfluorinated compounds may be immunotoxic, affecting both cell-mediated and humoral immunity. The overall goal of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the immunotoxic effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctane acid (PFOA), using in vitro assays. The release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α was evaluated in lipolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood leukocytes and in the human promyelocytic cell line THP-1, while the release of IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ was evaluated in phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated peripheral blood leukocytes. PFOA and PFOS suppressed LPS-induced TNF-α production in primary human cultures and THP-1 cells, while IL-8 was suppressed only in THP-1 cells. IL-6 release was decreased only by PFOS. Both PFOA and PFOS decreased T-cell derived, PHA-induced IL-4 and IL-10 release, while IFN-γ release was affected only by PFOS. In all instances, PFOS was more potent than PFOA. Mechanistic investigations carried out in THP-1 cells demonstrated that the effect on cytokine release was pre-transcriptional, as assessed by a reduction in LPS-induced TNF-α mRNA expression. Using siRNA, a role for PPAR-α could be demonstrated for PFOA-induced immunotoxicity, while an inhibitory effect on LPS-induced I-κB degradation could explain the immunomodulatory effect of PFOS. The dissimilar role of PPAR-α in PFOA and PFOS-induced immunotoxicity was consistent with the differing effects observed on LPS-induced MMP-9 release: PFOA, as the PPAR-α agonist fenofibrate, modulated the release, while PFOS had no effect. Overall, these studies suggest that PFCs directly suppress cytokine secretion by immune cells, and that PFOA and PFOS have different mechanisms of action.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 11/2010; 250(2):108-16. · 3.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We describe here an innovative, non-transgenic animal model of Alzheimer's disease. This model mimics early stages of sporadic disease, which represents the vast majority of cases. The model was obtained by interfering with the complex between a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain containing protein 10 (ADAM10), the main α-secretase candidate, and its partner, synapse-associated protein 97, a protein of the postsynaptic density-membrane associated guanylate kinase family. Association of ADAM10 with synapse-associated protein 97 governs enzyme trafficking and activity at synapses. Interfering with the ADAM10/synapse-associated protein 97 complex for 2 weeks by means of a cell-permeable peptide strategy is sufficient to shift the metabolism of the amyloid precursor protein towards amyloidogenesis and allows the reproduction of initial phases of sporadic Alzheimer's disease. After 2 weeks of treatment, we detected progressive Alzheimer's disease-like neuropathology, with an increase of β-amyloid aggregate production and of tau hyperphosphorylation, and a selective alteration of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor subunit composition in the postsynaptic compartment of mouse brain. Behavioural and electrophysiological deficits were also induced by peptide treatment.
    Brain 11/2010; 133(11):3323-35. · 10.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lignan-rich whole-grain cereals, beans, berries, and nuts show protective effects against a variety of chronic diseases, including cancer. Lignans are converted by intestinal microflora to enterolactone (EL) and its oxidation product enterodiol (ED). To investigate the immunomodulatory effect of EL and ED in human cells, peripheral blood lymphocytes were treated with increasing physiologically relevant concentrations of EL and ED (0-1000 microM) and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies. A dose-related inhibition of cell proliferation and cytokine production was observed, with EL being the most active. Molecular investigations in THP-1 cells showed that both EL and ED prevented inhibitory-kappaB (I-kappaB) degradation and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation, which in turn resulted in decreased tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production. EL and ED were also able to pass the intestinal barrier and modulate cytokine production. The findings of the present study reveal potential mechanisms that could explain some in vivo beneficial effects of lignans.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 06/2010; 58(11):6678-84. · 3.11 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In vivo studies suggest that the phenolic component contributes to the anti-inflammatory and antiatherosclerotic actions of olive oil; however, the effects in circulating cells are not fully characterized. Monocytes play a key role in inflammation-based diseases by expressing several molecules, including metalloproteinases (MMPs). In the present study, we investigated the effects of olive oil phenolic extract and individual compounds on MMP-9 in THP-1 cells, a human monocyte-like cell line. Olive oil extract prevented the stimulation of MMP-9 expression and secretion in tumor necrosis factor alpha-treated THP-1 cells. Oleuropein aglycone, a typical olive oil phenol, was active at concentrations found in the extract, although other compounds probably contribute to the biological activity. We also found that the effect of the extract and individual compounds on MMP-9 is due to impaired nuclear factor-kappaB signaling. Our findings provide further evidence on the mechanisms by which olive oil reduces the inflammatory burden associated with disorders, such as atherosclerosis.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 02/2010; 58(4):2246-52. · 3.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The sun-dried rind of the immature fruit of pomegranate (Punica granatum) is presently used as a herbal formulation (OMARIA, Orissa Malaria Research Indigenous Attempt) in Orissa, India, for the therapy and prophylaxis of malaria. The pathogenesis of cerebral malaria, a complication of the infection by Plasmodium falciparum, is an inflammatory cytokine-driven disease associated to an up-regulation and activity of metalloproteinase-9 and to the increase of TNF production. The in vitro anti-plasmodial activity of Punica granatum (Pg) was recently described. The aim of the present study was to explore whether the anti-malarial effect of OMARIA could also be sustained via other mechanisms among those associated to the host immune response. From the methanolic extract of the fruit rind, a fraction enriched in tannins (Pg-FET) was prepared. MMP-9 secretion and expression were evaluated in THP-1 cells stimulated with haemozoin or TNF. The assays were conducted in the presence of the Pg-FET and its chemical constituents ellagic acid and punicalagin. The effect of urolithins, the ellagitannin metabolites formed by human intestinal microflora, was also investigated. Pg-FET and its constituents inhibited the secretion of MMP-9 induced by haemozoin or TNF. The effect occurred at transcriptional level since MMP-9 mRNA levels were lower in the presence of the tested compounds. Urolithins as well inhibited MMP-9 secretion and expression. Pg-FET and pure compounds also inhibited MMP-9 promoter activity and NF-kB-driven transcription. The beneficial effect of the fruit rind of Punica granatum for the treatment of malarial disease may be attributed to the anti-parasitic activity and the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory mechanisms involved in the onset of cerebral malaria.
    Malaria Journal 01/2010; 9:208. · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sun-dried rind of the immature fruit of Punica granatum L. (Punicaceae) (Pg) is presently used as a herbal formulation (OMARIA) in Orissa, India, for the therapy and prophylaxis of malaria. The aims of this study were (i) to assess in vitro the antiplasmodial activity of the methanolic extract, of a tannin enriched fraction and of compounds/metabolites of the antimalarial plant, (ii) to estimate the curative efficacy of the Pg extracts and (iii) to explore the mechanism of action of the antiplasmodial compounds. Urolithins, the ellagitannin metabolites, were also investigated for antiplasmodial activity. Chloroquine-susceptible (D10) and -resistant (W2) strains of Pf were used for in vitro studies and the rodent malaria model Plasmodium berghei-BALB/c mice was used for in vivo assessments. Recombinant plasmepsins 2 and 4 were used to investigate the interference of Pg compounds with the metabolism of haemoglobin by malaria parasites. The Pg methanolic extract (Pg-MeOH) inhibited parasite growth in vitro with a IC(50) of 4.5 and 2.8 microg/ml, for D10 and W2 strain, respectively. The activity was found to be associated to the fraction enriched with tannins (Pg-FET, IC(50) 2.9 and 1.5 microg/ml) in which punicalagins (29.1%), punicalins, ellagic acid (13.4%) and its glycoside could be identified. Plasmepsin 2 was inhibited by Pg-MeOH extract and by Pg-FET (IC(50) 7.3 and 3.0 microg/ml), which could partly explain the antiparasitic effect. On the contrary, urolithins were inactive. Both Pg-MeOH extract and Pg-FET did not show any in vivo efficacy in the murine model. The in vitro studies support the use of Pg as antimalarial remedy. Possible explanations for the negative in vivo results are discussed.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 08/2009; 125(2):279-85. · 2.32 Impact Factor

28 Following View all

118 Followers View all