Morus alba extract modulates blood pressure homeostasis through eNOS signaling

Albino Carrizzo, Mariateresa Ambrosio, Antonio Damato, Michele Madonna, Marianna Storto, Luca Capocci, Pietro Campiglia, Eduardo Sommella, Valentina Trimarco, Francesco Rozza, Raffaele Izzo, Annibale Alessandro Puca, Carmine Vecchione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scope: Morus alba is a promising phytomedicine cultivated in oriental countries that is extensively used to prevent and treat various cardiovascular problems. To date, despite its beneficial effects, the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. Thus, we investigate the vascular and haemodynamic effects of Morus alba extract in an experimental model focusing our attention on the molecular mechanisms involved. Methods and results: Through vascular reactivity studies, we demonstrate that Morus alba extract evokes endothelial vasorelaxation through a nitric oxide-dependent pathway. Our molecular analysis highlights an increase in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation. In vivo administration of Morus alba extract reduces blood pressure levels exclusively in wild-type mice, whereas it fails to evoke any haemodynamic effects in eNOS-deficient mice. Molecular analyses revealed that its beneficial action on vasculature is mediated by the activation of two important proteins that act as stress sensors and chaperones: PERK and heat shock protein 90. Finally, Morus alba extract exerts antihypertensive action in an experimental model of arterial hypertension. Conclusion: Through its action on eNOS signaling, Morus alba extract could act as a food supplement for the regulation of cardiovascular system, mainly in clinical conditions characterized by eNOS dysfunction, such as arterial hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2304-2311
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Endothelium
  • Hypertension
  • Morus alba
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nutraceuticals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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