Oleuropein, the bitter principle of olives, enhances nitric oxide production by mouse macrophages

Francesco Visioli, Stefano Bellosta, Claudio Galli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, has been associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer, partly because of its high proportion of bioactive compounds such as vitamins, flavonoids and polyphenols. The major lipid component of such diet is the drupe-derived olive oil, that can be distinguished from other seed oils for the peculiar composition of its non-triglyceride fraction. In fact, several minor components, including polyphenols, grant the oil its particular taste and aroma. Oleuropein, the most abundant among these components, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant endowed with antiinflammatory properties. We investigated the effects of oleuropein on NO release in cell culture and its activity toward nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. The results show that oleuropein dose-dependently enhance nitrite production in LPS-challenged mouse macrophages. This effect was blocked by the iNOS inhibitor L-NAME, indicating increased iNOS activity. Also, Western blot analysis of cell homogenates show that oleuropein increases iNOS expression in such cells. Taken together, our data suggest that, during endotoxin challenge, oleuropein potentiates the macrophage-mediated response, resulting in higher NO production, currently believed to be beneficial for cellular and organismal protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalLife Sciences
Volume62
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 1998

Keywords

  • Macrophages
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oleuropein
  • Olive oil
  • Polyphenols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Oleuropein, the bitter principle of olives, enhances nitric oxide production by mouse macrophages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this