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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1246485, 12 pages
Research Article

The Nutraceutical Dehydrozingerone and Its Dimer Counteract Inflammation- and Oxidative Stress-Induced Dysfunction of In Vitro Cultured Human Endothelial Cells: A Novel Perspective for the Prevention and Therapy of Atherosclerosis

1Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Laboratory of Vascular Pathology, Istituto Dermopatico Dell’Immacolata-IRCCS, Fondazione Luigi Maria Monti, Via Monti Creta 104, 00167 Rome, Italy
3Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, CNR, Traversa La Crucca 3, 07100 Sassari, Italy

Received 22 September 2016; Accepted 19 October 2016

Academic Editor: Maura Palmery

Copyright © 2016 Elisabetta Profumo 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.


Atherosclerosis is characterized by endothelial dysfunction, mainly induced by inflammation and oxidative stress. Increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production together with increased adhesion molecules and thrombogenic tissue factor (TF) expression on endothelial cells has a key role in proatherogenic mechanisms. Therefore downmodulation of these molecules could be useful for reducing the severity of inflammation and atherosclerosis progression. Dehydrozingerone (DHZ) is a nutraceutical compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In this study we evaluated the ability of DHZ and its symmetric dimer to modulate hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) induced ROS production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). We also evaluated intercellular adhesion molecule- (ICAM-) 1, vascular cell adhesion molecule- (VCAM-) 1, and TF expression in HUVEC activated by tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α. HUVEC pretreatment with DHZ and DHZ dimer reduced H2O2-induced ROS production and inhibited adhesion molecule expression and secretion. Of note, only DHZ dimer was able to reduce TF expression. DHZ effects were in part mediated by the inhibition of the nuclear factor- (NF-) κB activation. Overall, our findings demonstrate that the DHZ dimer exerts a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antithrombotic activity on endothelial cells and suggest potential usefulness of this compound to contrast the pathogenic mechanisms involved in atherosclerosis progression.