Olive compounds attenuate oxidative damage induced in HEK-293 cells via MAPK signaling pathway

Amina Maalej, Maurizio Forte, Zouhaier Bouallagui, Stella Donato, Luigi Mita, Damiano Gustavo Mita, Stefania Filosa, Stefania Crispi, Sami Sayadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The protective effects of ethanolic olive fruit extract (OFE) and purified oleuropein (Ole) have been evaluated against H2O2-induced oxidative damage and apoptosis in human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells. Olive compounds demonstrated a protective effect against H2O2-induced cell death resulting in total rescue of cell viability. This effect was accompanied by a marked decrease in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation as evidenced by malondialdehyde (MDA) production. Consequently, olive compounds reduced the apoptotic cell death. This was confirmed by flow cytometry analysis for multicaspases and by western blot and real-time PCR analyses for the expression of key effectors involved in the apoptotic process. Our data suggest that the anti-apoptotic effect could be due to the activation of the Erk/p38 signaling pathway and to the modulation of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. These findings provide new insight into the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of OFE and Ole against oxidative damage-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-27
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Apoptosis
  • HEK-293 cells
  • MAPK pathway
  • Oleuropein
  • Olive fruit extract
  • Oxidative damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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