Senescent cells display an increase in the secretion of growth factors, inflammatory cytokines and proteolytic enzymes, termed the “senescence-associated-secretory-phenotype” (SASP), playing a major role in many age-related diseases. The phenolic compounds present in extra-virgin olive oil are inhibitors of oxidative damage and have been reported to play a protective role in inflammation-related diseases. Particularly, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein are the most abundant and more extensively studied. Pre-senescent human lung (MRC5) and neonatal human dermal (NHDF) fibroblasts were used as cellular model to evaluate the effect of chronic (4–6 weeks) treatment with 1 μM hydroxytyrosol (HT) or 10 μM oleuropein aglycone (OLE) on senescence/inflammation markers. Both phenols were effective in reducing β-galactosidase-positive cell number and p16 protein expression. In addition, senescence/inflammation markers such as IL-6 and metalloprotease secretion, and Ciclooxigenase type 2 (COX-2) and α-smooth-actin levels were reduced by phenol treatments. In NHDF, COX-2 expression, Nuclear Factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB) protein level and nuclear localization were augmented with culture senescence and decreased by OLE and HT treatment. Furthermore, the inflammatory effect of Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα) exposure was almost completely abolished in OLE- and HT-pre-treated NHDF. Thus, the modulation of the senescence-associated inflammatory phenotype might be an important mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of olive oil phenols.
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