Polyphenol-enriched diet prevents coronary endothelial dysfunction by activating the Akt/eNOS pathway.
Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2015 Mar ;68(3):216-25. Epub 2014 Oct 23. PMID: 25444379
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: The Mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenols, has shown to be cardioprotective. However the mechanisms involved remain unknown. We investigated whether supplementation with a pomegranate extract rich in polyphenols renders beneficial effects on coronary function in a clinically relevant experimental model and characterized the underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: Pigs were fed a 10-day normocholesterolemic or hypercholesterolemic diet. Half of the animals were given a supplement of 625 mg/day of a pomegranate extract (Pomanox; 200 mg punicalagins/day). Coronary responses to escalating doses of vasoactive drugs (acetylcholine, calcium ionophore, and sodium nitroprusside) and L-NG-monomethylarginine (endothelial nitric oxide-synthase inhibitor) were measured using flow Doppler. Akt/endothelial nitric oxide-synthase axis activation, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression, oxidative deoxyribonucleic acid damage in the coronary artery, and lipoprotein resistance to oxidation were evaluated.
RESULTS: In dyslipidemic animals, Pomanox supplementation prevented diet-induced impairment of endothelial relaxation, reaching vasodilatory values comparable to normocholesterolemic animals upon stimulation with acetylcholine and/or calcium ionophore. These beneficial effects were associated with vascular Akt/endothelial nitric oxide-synthase activation and lower monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression. Pomanox supplementation reduced systemic oxidative stress (higher high-density lipoprotein-antioxidant capacity and higher low-density lipoprotein resistance to oxidation) and coronary deoxyribonucleic acid damage. Normocholesterolemic animals elicited similar drug-related vasodilation regardless of Pomanox supplementation. All animals displayed a similar vasodilatory response to sodium nitroprusside and L-NG-monomethylarginine blunted all vasorelaxation responses except for sodium nitroprusside.
CONCLUSIONS: Pomanox supplementation hinders hyperlipemia-induced coronary endothelial dysfunction by activating the Akt/endothelial nitric oxide-synthase pathway and favorably counteracting vascular inflammation and oxidative damage.