Modulation of immune function by polyphenols: possible contribution of epigenetic factors

Nutrients. 2013 Jun 28;5(7):2314-32. doi: 10.3390/nu5072314.


Several biological activities have been described for polyphenolic compounds, including a modulator effect on the immune system. The effects of these biologically active compounds on the immune system are associated to processes as differentiation and activation of immune cells. Among the mechanisms associated to immune regulation are epigenetic modifications as DNA methylation of regulatory sequences, histone modifications and posttranscriptional repression by microRNAs that influences the gene expression of key players involved in the immune response. Considering that polyphenols are able to regulate the immune function and has been also demonstrated an effect on epigenetic mechanisms, it is possible to hypothesize that there exists a mediator role of epigenetic mechanisms in the modulation of the immune response by polyphenols.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Models, Animal
  • Polyphenols / immunology
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*


  • Polyphenols