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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 654721, 9 pages
Research Article

Maslinic Acid Enhances Signals for the Recruitment of Macrophages and Their Differentiation to M1 State

1Immunology Division, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Jaen, Campus las Lagunillas, s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain
2Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Olivar y Aceites de Oliva, Parque Científico-Tecnológico Geolit, c/ Sierra Morena, Edificio CTSA Módulo 1, Mengíbar, 23620 Jaén, Spain
3Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), University of Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas, s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain

Received 6 November 2014; Revised 22 December 2014; Accepted 14 February 2015

Academic Editor: Shylaja M. Dharmesh

Copyright © 2015 Cristina Sánchez-Quesada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The inflammatory process is involved in the genesis and evolution of different diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Macrophages play a central role in inflammation. In addition, they can regulate some stages of cancer development. Macrophages can polarize into M1 or M2 functional phenotype depending on the cytokines present in the tissue microenvironment. On the other hand, triterpenes found in virgin olive oil are described to present different properties, such as antitumoral and anti-inflammatory activity. The present study was designed to elucidate if the four major triterpenes found in virgin olive oil (oleanolic acid, maslinic acid, uvaol, and erythrodiol) are able to enhance M1 macrophage response which represents an important defense mechanism against cancer. Our results indicated that maslinic acid modulated the inflammatory response by enhancing the production of IL-8, IL-1α, and IL-1β; it promoted M1 response through the synthesis of IFN-γ; and finally it did not modify significantly the levels of NFκβ or NO. Overall, our results showed that maslinic acid could prevent chronic inflammation, which represents a crucial step in the development of some cancers.