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Biological Research

versión impresa ISSN 0716-9760


SABANDO, Constanza et al. Improvement of endothelial function by Gunnera tinctoria extract with antioxidant properties. Biol. Res. [online]. 2020, vol.53, 55.  Epub 06-Ene-2021. ISSN 0716-9760.


Gunnera tinctoria has been collected by Mapuche-Pewenche people for food and medicinal purposes. The high polyphenol content of methanolic extract from G. tinctoria leaves with chemical constituents such as ellagic acid and quercetin derivatives suggests its application to prevent endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the protective effect of this extract on endothelial function by reducing oxidative stress induced by high D-glucose and H2O2, as well as by stimulating nitric oxide (NO) levels in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).


A methanolic extract with a high content of polyphenols (520 ± 30 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dry extract) was obtained from G. tinctoria leaves. Its main constituent was ellagic acid. The results of Ferric reducing antioxidant power and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging assays of the extract confirmed its antioxidant activity by inhibition pathway of radical species. The incubation of HUVECs with the extract decreased the apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis induced by high extracellular concentration of D-glucose or hydrogen peroxide. The extract increased endothelial NO levels and reduced vasoconstriction in human placental vessels.


This study provides evidence about the antioxidant and endothelial protective properties of methanolic G. tinctoria leaf extract. The extract improves the availability of NO in HUVECs, inhibiting the production of ROS and vasoconstriction.

Palabras clave : Gunnera tinctoria; Methanolic extract; Endothelial function; Antioxidant activity.

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