Next Article in Journal
Role of miR-222-3p in c-Src-Mediated Regulation of Osteoclastogenesis
Previous Article in Journal
The Chinese Herbal Medicine Formula mKG Suppresses Pulmonary Fibrosis of Mice Induced by Bleomycin
Previous Article in Special Issue
Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Hepatic Diseases: Therapeutic Possibilities of N-Acetylcysteine
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(2), 239;

Food-Derived Bioactives Can Protect the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cortisol with Antioxidant-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Health Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht 3600 MD, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gopinadhan Paliyath
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 15 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant 2.0——Redox Modulation by Food and Drugs)
Full-Text   |   PDF [900 KB, uploaded 15 February 2016]   |  


In chronic inflammatory diseases the anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoids (GCs) is often decreased, leading to GC resistance. Inflammation is related with increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to oxidative stress which is thought to contribute to the development of GC resistance. Plant-derived compounds such as flavonoids are known for their ability to protect against ROS. In this exploratory study we screened a broad range of food-derived bioactives for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in order to investigate whether their antioxidant effects are associated with the ability to preserve the anti-inflammatory effects of cortisol. The anti-inflammatory potency of the tested compounds was assessed by measuring the oxidative stress–induced GC resistance in human macrophage-like cells. Cells were pre-treated with H2O2 (800 µM) with and without bioactives and then exposed to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) (10 ng/mL) and cortisol (100 nM). The level of inflammation was deducted from the concentration of interleukin-8 (IL-8) in the medium. Intracellular oxidative stress was measured using the fluorescent probe 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCFH). We found that most of the dietary bioactives display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action through the protection of the cortisol response. All compounds, except for quercetin, revealing antioxidant activity also protect the cortisol response. This indicates that the antioxidant activity of compounds plays an important role in the protection of the GC response. However, next to the antioxidant activity of the bioactives, other mechanisms also seem to be involved in this protective, anti-inflammatory effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: cortisol; flavonoids; glucocorticoid; inflammation; antioxidant cortisol; flavonoids; glucocorticoid; inflammation; antioxidant

Figure 1

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ruijters, E.J.B.; Haenen, G.R.M.M.; Willemsen, M.; Weseler, A.R.; Bast, A. Food-Derived Bioactives Can Protect the Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cortisol with Antioxidant-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 239.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top