Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of hesperetin metabolites obtained from hesperetin-administered rat serum: An ex vivo approach

Hsin Ling Yang, Ssu Ching Chen, K. J. Senthil Kumar, Kang Ni Yu, Pei Dawn Lee Chao, Shang Yuan Tsai, Yu Chi Hou, You Cheng Hseu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


In recent years much attention has been focused on the pharmaceutical relevance of bioflavonoids, especially hesperidin and its aglycon hesperetin in terms of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. However, the bioactivity of their metabolites, the real molecules in vivo hesperetin glucuronides/sulfates produced after ingestion, has been poorly understood. Thus, the study using an ex vivo approach is aimed to compare the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of hesperidin/hesperetin or hesperetin metabolites derived from hesperetin-administered rat serum. We found that hesperetin metabolites (2.5-20 μM) showed higher antioxidant activity against various oxidative systems, including superoxide anion scavenging, reducing power, and metal chelating effects, than that of hesperidin or hesperetin. The data also showed that pretreatment of hesperetin metabolites (1-10 μM) within the range of physiological concentrations, compared to hesperetin, significantly inhibited nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, as evidenced by the inhibition of their precursors, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein levels without appreciable cytotoxicity on LPS-activated RAW264.7 macrophages or A7r5 smooth muscle cells. Concomitantly, hesperetin metabolites dose-dependently inhibited LPS-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, hesperetin metabolites significantly downregulate LPS-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation followed by the suppression of inhibitor-κB (I-κB) degradation and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase1/2 (JNK1/2) and p38 MAPKs after challenge with LPS. Hesperetin metabolites ex vivo showed potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in comparison with hesperidin/hesperetin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-532
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2012


  • anti-inflammation
  • antioxidant
  • cyclooxygenase-2
  • hesperetin metabolites
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • reactive oxygen species


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