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J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jul 25;66(29):7643-7654. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01808. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

Oleuropein Curtails Pulmonary Inflammation and Tissue Destruction in Models of Experimental Asthma and Emphysema.

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Department of Food and Nutrition , Hallym University , Chuncheon 200-702 , Korea.
Department of Bio-Food Science & Technology , Far East University , Eumseong , Korea.


Airway inflammation has been implicated in evoking progressive pulmonary disorders including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma as a result of exposure to inhaled irritants, characterized by airway fibrosis, mucus hypersecretion, and loss of alveolar integrity. The current study examined whether oleuropein, a phenylethanoid found in olive leaves, inhibited pulmonary inflammation in experimental models of interleukin (IL)-4-exposed bronchial BEAS-2B epithelial cells and ovalbumin (OVA)- or cigarette smoke (CS)-exposed BALB/c mice. Nontoxic oleuropein at 1-20 μM diminished eotaxin-1-mediated induction of α-smooth muscle actin and mucin 5AC in epithelial cells stimulated by IL-4 at the transcriptional levels. Oral supplementation of 10-20 mg/kg oleuropein reduced the airway influx of eosinophils and lymphocytes as well as IL-4 secretion in lung promoted by OVA inhalation or CS. In addition, oleuropein suppressed infiltration of macrophages and neutrophils through blocking OVA inhalation- and CS-promoted induction of ICAM-1, F4/80, CD68, and CD11b in airways. OVA-exposed pulmonary fibrosis was detected, while alveolar emphysema was evident in CS-exposed mouse lungs. In alveolar epithelial A549 cells exposed to CS extracts, oleuropein attenuated apoptotic cell loss. Collectively, oleuropein inhibited pulmonary inflammation leading to asthmatic fibrosis and alveolar emphysema driven by influx of inflammatory cells in airways exposed OVA or CS. Therefore, oleuropein may be a promising anti-inflammatory agent for treating asthma and COPD.


asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cigarette smoke; oleuropein; ovalbumin inhalation; pulmonary inflammation

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