The aim of the present study was to investigate the ability of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) polyphenols to counteract the proinflammatory effects induced by dietary and endogenous oxysterols in ex vivo immune cells.Methods and results
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), separated from the whole blood of healthy donors, were utilized and were stimulated with an oxysterols mixture, in the presence of physiologically relevant concentrations of the EVOO polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and homovanillic alcohol. Oxysterols significantly increased the production of proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β, regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted and macrophage migration inhibitory factor in ex vivo cultured PBMCs. Increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also detected along with increased phosphorylation of the p38 and JNK. All phenolic compounds significantly reduced cytokine secretion induced by the oxysterols and inhibited ROS production and mitogen activated protein kinase phosphorylation.Conclusions
These results suggest that extra virgin olive oil polyphenols modulate the immune response induced by dietary and endogenous cholesterol oxidation products in human immune cells and may hold benefit in controlling chronic immune and/or inflammatory processes.