Berry fruits modulated endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis via phosphoinositide-3 kinase/protein kinase B pathway in vitro in endothelial cells

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jun 13;60(23):5803-12. doi: 10.1021/jf3001636. Epub 2012 Apr 15.


Polyphenolic-rich berry fruits are known to activate redox-sensitive cellular signaling molecules such as phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3 kinase)/kinase B (Akt), resulting in a cascade of downstream signaling pathways. This study investigated the ability of strawberry (SB), wild blueberry (WBB), and cranberry (CB) extracts to induce the activation of PI3 kinase/Akt signaling in vitro in human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) and whether this activation would enhance cell migration and angiogenesis. Anthocyanin profiles of the extracts were characterized using HPLC-ESI/MS, and Akt activation was investigated using the Alpha Screen SureFire assay. The total anthocyanin contents of SB, WBB, and CB extracts were 81.7, 82.5, and 83.0 mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively. SB, WBB, and CB extracts activated Akt in a dose-dependent manner via PI3 kinase and induced cell migration and angiogenesis in vitro in HUVECs. The results from this study suggest that polyphenolics in berry fruits may play a role in promoting vascular health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt