Red-osier dogwood extracts (RDE) contain high levels of phenolic compounds which have been recognized as natural antioxidants. In this study, the potential of RDE to prevent cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) was evaluated using Caco-2 cells and a co-culture model of Caco-2 BBe1/EA.hy926 cells in Transwell®
plates. The results showed that RDE supplementation significantly prevented interleukin-8 (IL-8) production and suppressed the gene expression of IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) in the TNF-α inflamed Caco-2 cells. Meanwhile, the polyphenols (quercetin-3-glucoside, quercetin-glucuronide, rutin, quercetin-3-O
-malonylglucoside, and kaempferol-glucoside) in the RDE were validated to be absorbed by Caco-2 BBe1 cells and transported to the basal chamber where EA.hy926 cells were located during 12 h incubation. The transported polyphenols were able to prevent IL-8 production and suppress the gene expression of proinflammatory mediators (TNF-α, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and COX-2) in the TNF-α or oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) treated EA.hy926 cells. These novel findings demonstrated that phenolic compounds in RDE can be transported to the cardiovascular system by intestinal absorption and mitigate the inflammatory responses of vascular endothelial cells, indicating that RDE could be a natural resource of polyphenols to prevent inflammation cytokine or oxidized lipid-induced CVDs.
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