Ferulic Acid Derivatives and Avenanthramides Modulate Endothelial Function through Maintenance of Nitric Oxide Balance in HUVEC Cells

Gabriele Serreli, Melanie Le Sayec, Estelle Thou, Camille Lacour, Camilla Diotallevi, Misbah Arshad Dhunna, Monica Deiana, Jeremy P. E. Spencer, Giulia Corona

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Wholegrain oats contain a variety of phenolic compounds thought to help maintain healthy vascular function, through the maintenance of local levels of the vasodilator nitric oxide (NO). Thus, the full molecular mechanisms involved are not yet clear. With this work we aim to understand the possible cellular mechanisms by which avenanthramides and ferulic acid derivatives, present in oats, may help maintain a healthy vascular function through the modulation of the NO pathway. Primary Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) were exposed to ferulic acid, isoferulic acid, hydroferulic acid, ferulic acid 4-O-glucuronide, isoferulic acid 3-O-sulfate, dihydroferulic acid 4-O-glucuronide, avenanthramide A, avenanthramide B and avenanthramide C (1 μM) or vehicle (methanol) for 24 h. Apocynin and Nω-Nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA) were additionally included as controls. NO and cyclic GMP (cGMP) levels, superoxide production and the activation of the Akt1/eNOS pathway were assessed. The statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA followed by a Tukey post-hoc t-test. Apocynin and all phenolic compounds increased NO levels in HUVEC cells (increased DAF2-DA fluorescence and cGMP), and significantly reduced superoxide levels. Protein expression results highlighted an increase in the Akt1 activation state, and increased eNOS expression. Overall, our results indicated that the glucuronide metabolites do not enhance NO production through the Akt1/eNOS pathway, thus all compounds tested are able to reduce NO degradation through reduced superoxide formation.

© 2021 G. Serreli, M. Le Sayec, E. Thou, C. Lacour, C. Diotallevi, M. Dhunna, M. Deiana, J. Spencer, G. Corona, . This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Original languageUndefined
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2021

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