Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress

Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Jul 1;29(1):51-60. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(00)00329-4.


The objective of this study was to investigate the ability of endothelial cells (EC) to incorporate anthocyanins and to examine their potential benefits against various oxidative stressors. Endothelial dysfunction has been proposed to play an important role in the initiation and development of vascular disease, with studies having shown that administration of antioxidants improves endothelial function. Elderberry extract contains 4 anthocyanins, which where incorporated into the plasma membrane and cytosol of EC following 4 h incubation at 1 However, incorporation within the cytosol was considerably less than that in the membrane. Uptake within both regions appeared to be structure dependent, with monoglycoside concentrations higher than that of the diglucosides in both compartments. The enrichment of EC with elderberry anthocyanins conferred significant protective effects in EC against the following oxidative stressors: hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)); 2, 2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH); and FeSO(4)/ascorbic acid (AA). These results show for the first time that vascular EC can incorporate anthocyanins into the membrane and cytosol, conferring significant protective effects against oxidative insult. These findings may have important implications on preserving EC function and preventing the initiation of EC changes associated with vascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amidines / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacokinetics
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Aorta
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Ferric Compounds / pharmacology
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Amidines
  • Anthocyanins
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane)
  • iron(III)-ascorbic acid complex
  • Ascorbic Acid