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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 318125, 14 pages
Research Article

Cardiac and Vascular Synergic Protective Effect of Olea europea L. Leaves and Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Flower Extracts

1Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2Department for Life Quality Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Corso d’Augusto 237, 47900 Rimini, Italy
3Department of Food Science, University of Bologna, Via Fanin 44, 40100 Bologna, Italy
4Department of Specialistic, Diagnostic and Experimental Medicine, Section of Nephrology, University of Bologna, S. Orsola Hospital, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy

Received 23 September 2014; Revised 11 December 2014; Accepted 12 December 2014

Academic Editor: David Vauzour

Copyright © 2015 Matteo Micucci 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.


This study was aimed at investigating the cardiovascular effects of an Olea europea L. leaf extract (OEE), of a Hibiscus sabdariffa L. flower extract (HSE), and of their 13 : 2 w/w mixture in order to assess their cardiac and vascular activity. Both extracts were fully characterized in their bioactive compounds by HPLC-MS/MS analysis. The study was performed using primary vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) to investigate the antioxidant and cytoprotective effect of the extracts and their mixture and isolated guinea-pig left and right atria and aorta to evaluate the inotropic and chronotropic activities and vasorelaxant properties. In cultured HUVECs, OEE and HSE reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species formation and improved cell viability, following oxidative stress in dose-dependent manner. OEE and HSE exerted negative inotropic and vasorelaxant effects without any chronotropic property. Interestingly, the mixture exerted higher cytoprotective effects and antioxidant activities. Moreover, the mixture exerted an inotropic effect similar to each single extract, while it revealed an intrinsic negative chronotropic activity different from the single extract; its relaxant activity was higher than that of each single extract. In conclusion OEE and HSE mixture has a good potential for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical application, thanks to the synergistic effects of the single phytochemicals.