Different Redox Response Elicited by Naturally Occurring Antioxidants in Human Endothelial Cells

Roberta Giordo1, Annalisa Cossu1, Valeria Pasciu4, Phu Thi Hoa1, 5, Anna Maria Posadino1, Gianfranco Pintus1, 2, 3, *
1 Laboratory of Vascular Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
2 Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology Development and Biodiversity Research, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
3 National Institute of Biostrucures and Biosystems, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
4 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
5 Department of Biochemistry, Huè University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Huè, Vietnam

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© Giordo et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Viale San Pietro 43/B, 07100 Sassari, Italy;Tel.: +39 079 228 121; Fax: +39 079 228 120; E-mail:


Evidences that higher natural antioxidant (NA) intake provides protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD) are contradictory. Oxidative-induced endothelial cells (ECs) injury is the key step in the onset and progression of CVD and for this reason the cellular responses resulting from NA interaction with ECs are actively investigated. This study was designed to investigate the direct impact of different naturally occurring antioxidants on the intracellular ROS levels in cultured human ECs. NA-induced redox changes, in terms of modulation of the intracellular ROS levels, were assessed by using the ROS fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCF-DA). While caffeic and caftaric acid exerted an anti-oxidant effect, both coumaric acid and resveratrol were pro-oxidant. Anti- and pro-oxidant effects of the tested compounds were concentration dependent, showing the induction or the tendency to promote a pro-oxidant outcome with increasing concentrations. Interestingly, the anti- and pro-oxidant behavior of chlorogenic and ferulic acid was dependent on the basal intracellular redox state. Our data indicate that naturally occurring antioxidants are able to induce a rapid modification of the intracellular ROS levels in human ECs, which is dependent on both the applied concentration and the intracellular redox state.

Keywords: ROS, natural phenolic antioxidants, endothelial cells, anti-and pro-oxidant effect.