TitleDietary flavonoids attenuate tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced adhesion molecule expression in human aortic endothelial cells. Structure-function relationships and activity after first pass metabolism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLotito SB, Frei B
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2006 Dec 01
KeywordsAnti-Inflammatory Agents, Antioxidants, Aorta, Cell Adhesion, Cells, Cultured, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical, Culture Media, Conditioned, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Endothelium, Vascular, Flavones, Flavonoids, Hepatocytes, Humans, Models, Chemical, Structure-Activity Relationship, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

Flavonoids have been suggested to exert human health benefits by anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. In this study, we investigated whether and by what mechanisms dietary flavonoids inhibit expression of cellular adhesion molecules, which is relevant to inflammation and atherosclerosis. We found that the capacity of flavonoids to inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced adhesion molecule expression in human aortic endothelial cells was dependent on specific structural features of the flavonoids. The 5,7-dihydroxyl substitution of a flavonoid A-ring and 2,3-double bond and 4-keto group of the C-ring were the main structural requirements for inhibition of adhesion molecule expression. In striking contrast, hydroxyl substitutions of the B- and C-rings but not the A-ring were essential for antioxidant activity. Hence, only hydroxyl flavones, such as apigenin and chrysin, and flavonols, such as galangin, kaempferol, and quercetin, were able to inhibit endothelial adhesion molecule expression, whereas flavone, chromone, the flavanone, naringenin, and the flavanol, (-)-epicatechin, were ineffectual. At low concentrations, the active flavonoids significantly attenuated expression of E-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 but not vascular cell adhesion molecule 1. In addition, exposure of apigenin and kaempferol to cultured hepatocytes, mimicking first pass metabolism, greatly diminished the inhibitory effect of flavonoids on endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule 1 expression. We conclude that the effect of dietary flavonoids on endothelial adhesion molecule expression depends on their molecular structure, concentration, and metabolic transformation but not their antioxidant activity.

Alternate JournalJ. Biol. Chem.
PubMed ID16987811
Grant ListAT002034 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States