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Phytochemical indicaxanthin suppresses 7-ketocholesterol-induced THP-1 cell apoptosis by preventing cytosolic Ca++ increase and oxidative stress

  • Autori: Tesoriere, L.; Attanzio, A.; Allegra, M.; Gentile, C.; Livrea, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


7-Ketocholesterol (7-KC)-induced apoptosis of macrophages is considered a key event in the development of human atheromas. In the present study, the effect of indicaxanthin (Ind), a bioactive pigment from cactus pear fruit, on 7-KC-induced apoptosis of human monocyte/macrophage THP-1 cells was investigated. A pathophysiological condition was simulated by using amounts of 7-KC that can be reached in human atheromatous plaque. Ind was assayed within a micromolar concentration range, consistent with its plasma level after dietary supplementation with cactus pear fruit. Pro-apoptotic effects of 7-KC were assessed by cell cycle arrest, exposure of phosphatidylserine at the plasma membrane, variation of nuclear morphology, decrease of mitochondrial trans-membrane potential, activation of Bcl-2 antagonist of cell death and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 cleavage. Kinetic measurements within 24 h showed early formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species over basal levels, preceding NADPH oxidase-4 (NOX-4) over-expression and elevation of cytosolic Ca2þ, with progressive depletion of total thiols. 7-KC-dependent activation of the redox-sensitive NF-kB was observed. Co-incubation of 2·5mM of Ind completely prevented 7-KC-induced pro-apoptotic events. The effects of Ind may be ascribed to inhibition of NOX-4 basal activity and over-expression, inhibition of NF-kB activation, maintaining cell redox balance and Ca homeostasis, with prevention of mitochondrial damage and consequently apoptosis. The findings suggest that Ind, a highly bioavailable dietary phytochemical, may exert protective effects against atherogenetic toxicity of 7-KC at a concentration of nutritional interest.