Conjugated Metabolites of Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol Contribute to the Maintenance of Nitric Oxide Balance in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells at Physiologically Relevant Concentrations

Gabriele Serreli, Melanie Le Sayec, Camilla Diotallevi, Alice Teissier, Monica Deiana, Giulia Corona

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Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule involved in many pathophysiological processes. NO mediates vasodilation and blood flow in the arteries, and its action contributes to maintaining vascular homeostasis by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle contraction and growth, platelet aggregation, and leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium. Dietary antioxidants and their metabolites have been found to be directly and/or indirectly involved in the modulation of the intracellular signals that lead to the production of NO. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of conjugated metabolites of hydroxytyrosol (HT) and tyrosol (TYR) to the release of NO at the vascular level, and the related mechanism of action, in comparison to their parental forms. Experiments were performed in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) to evaluate the superoxide production, the release of NO and production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), the activation of serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (Akt1), and the activation state of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). It was observed that the tested phenolic compounds enhanced NO and cGMP concentration, inhibiting its depletion caused by superoxide overproduction. Moreover, some of them enhanced the activation of Akt (TYR, HT metabolites) and eNOS (HT, HVA, TYR-S, HT-3S). Overall, the obtained data showed that these compounds promote NO production and availability, suggesting that HT and TYR conjugated metabolites may contribute to the effects of parental extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) phenolics in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7480
Number of pages14
JournalMolecules (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number24
Early online date10 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021


  • conjugate metabolites
  • glucuronide
  • hydroxytyrosol
  • nitric oxide
  • olive oil
  • phenolic acids
  • sulfate
  • superoxide
  • tyrosol

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