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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1458793, 11 pages
Research Article

Upregulation of Heme Oxygenase-1 in Response to Wild Thyme Treatment Protects against Hypertension and Oxidative Stress

1Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Dr. Subotica 4, P.O. Box 102, 11129 Belgrade, Serbia
2Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Karnegijeva 4, Belgrade, Serbia
3Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia

Received 9 May 2016; Revised 20 July 2016; Accepted 23 August 2016

Academic Editor: Claudio Cabello-Verrugio

Copyright © 2016 Nevena Mihailovic-Stanojevic 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.


High blood pressure is the most powerful contributor to the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and inverse correlation between consumption of polyphenol-rich foods or beverages and incidence of cardiovascular diseases gains more importance. Reactive oxygen species plays an important role in the development of hypertension. We found that wild thyme (a spice plant, rich in polyphenolic compounds) induced a significant decrease of blood pressure and vascular resistance in hypertensive rats. The inverse correlation between vascular resistance and plasma heme oxygenase-1 suggests that endogenous vasodilator carbon monoxide generated by heme oxidation could account for this normalization of blood pressure. Next product of heme oxidation, bilirubin (a chain-breaking antioxidant that acts as a lipid peroxyl radical scavenger), becomes significantly increased after wild thyme treatment and induces the reduction of plasma lipid peroxidation in hypertensive, but not in normotensive rats. The obtained results promote wild thyme as useful supplement for cardiovascular interventions.