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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 428538, 12 pages
Research Article

Protective Role of Malvidin-3-Glucoside on Peroxynitrite-Induced Damage in Endothelial Cells by Counteracting Reactive Species Formation and Apoptotic Mitochondrial Pathway

1Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal
2Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 10 March 2012; Revised 7 May 2012; Accepted 8 May 2012

Academic Editor: Tullia Maraldi

Copyright © 2012 Joana Paixão 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 health-promoted benefits of anthocyanins, including vascular protective effects and antiatherogenic properties, have now been recognized, but the involved molecular mechanisms have not been well elucidated. Following our previous work on cytoprotective mechanisms of some anthocyanins against apoptosis triggered by peroxynitrite in endothelial cells, here we investigated the protective role of malvidin-3-glucoside, a major dietary anthocyanin, on such deleterious process, by exploring the interference on cellular reactive species formation and on apoptotic mitochondrial pathway. Preincubation of cells with 25 μM malvidin-3-glucoside protected efficiently endothelial cells from peroxynitrite-promoted apoptotic death, an effect which may be partially mediated by its ability to decrease the formation of reactive species after cell aggression, as assessed by the dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate assay and by carbonyl groups formation. Moreover, malvidin-3-glucoside inhibited mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathways induced by peroxynitrite, by counteracting mitochondrial membrane depolarization, the activation of caspase-3 and -9, and the increase in the expression of the proapoptotic Bax protein. Altogether, our data expands our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying the vascular protection afforded by malvidin-3-glucoside, and anthocyanins in general, in the context of prevention of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.