Hesperetin and its sulfate and glucuronide metabolites inhibit TNF-α induced human aortic endothelial cell migration and decrease plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels†
Epidemiological, clinical and preclinical studies have reported the protection offered by citrus consumption, mainly orange, against cardiovascular diseases, which is primarily mediated by the antiatherogenic and vasculoprotective effects of the flavanone hesperetin-7-O-rutinoside (hesperidin). However, flavanone aglycones or glycosides are not present in the bloodstream but their derived phase-II metabolites could be the actual bioactive molecules. To date, only a few studies have explored the effects of circulating hesperetin-derived metabolites (glucuronides and sulfates) on endothelial cells. Herein, we describe for the first time the effects of hesperetin 3′-O-glucuronide, hesperetin 7-O-glucuronide, hesperetin 3′-O-sulfate, hesperetin 7-O-sulfate and hesperetin on human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) migration upon pro-inflammatory stimuli as an essential step to angiogenesis. Hesperetin and its derived metabolites, at physiologically relevant concentrations (1–10 μM), significantly attenuated cell migration in the presence of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α (50 ng mL−1), which was accompanied and perhaps mediated by a significant decrease in the levels of the thrombogenic plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). However, hesperetin metabolites did not counteract the TNF-α-induced production of pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8. We also study here for the first time, the metabolism of hesperetin and its derived metabolites by HAEC with and without a pro-inflammatory stimulus. All these results reinforce the concept according to which circulating phase-II hesperetin metabolites are critical molecules contributing to the cardioprotective effects upon consumption of citrus fruits such as orange.