Minor components of olive oil modulate proatherogenic adhesion molecules involved in endothelial activation

Mario Dell'Agli, Rossana Fagnani, Nico Mitro, Samuele Scurati, Maura Masciadri, Luciana Mussoni, Germana V. Galli, Enrica Bosisio, Maurizio Crestani, Emma De Fabiani, Elena Tremoli, Donatella Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of coronary artery disease as a consequence of its high content of antioxidants, namely, hydroxytyrosol (HT) and oleuropein aglycone (OleA), typical of virgin olive oil. Because intercellular and vascular cell adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1) and E-selectin are crucial for endothelial activation, the role of the phenolic extract from extra virgin olive oil (OPE), OleA, HT, and homovanillyl alcohol (HVA) on cell surface and mRNA expression in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) was evaluated. OPE strongly reduced cell surface expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 at concentrations physiologically relevant (IC50 <1 μM), linked to a reduction in mRNA levels. OleA and HT were the main components responsible for these effects. HVA inhibited cell surface expression of all the adhesion molecules, whereas the effect on mRNA expression was weaker. These results supply new insights on the protective role of olive oil against vascular risk through the down-regulation of adhesion molecules involved in early atherogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3259-3264
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 3 2006


  • E-selectin
  • Endothelial activation
  • Hydroxytyrosol
  • ICAM-1
  • Oleuropein aglycone
  • Olive oil
  • Proatherogenic adhesion molecules
  • VCAM-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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