Dietary extra-virgin olive oil prevents inflammatory response and cartilage matrix degradation in murine collagen-induced arthritis

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Feb;55(1):315-25. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-0850-0. Epub 2015 Feb 10.


Purpose: Current experimental studies support a beneficial role of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) in several inflammatory diseases. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of dietary EVOO on type II collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice.

Methods: DBA-1/J mice were randomized in four experimental groups (10 or 15 animals per group): (1) Sham sunflower diet (SO-Sham), (2) CIA sunflower diet (SO-CIA), (3) Sham EVOO diet (EVOO-Sham) and (4) CIA EVOO diet (EVOO-CIA) group. After 6 weeks, arthritis was induced by type II collagen. Mice were sacrified 42 days after first immunization. In addition to macroscopic and histological analyses, serum levels of cartilage olimeric matrix protein (COMP), metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) and pro-inflammatory cytokines levels were evaluated by ELISA. The expressions of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) and nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathways were studied by western blotting.

Results: EVOO diet significantly reduced joint edema and cartilage destruction, preventing the arthritis development. Dietary EVOO significantly decreased serum COMP and MMP-3 levels, as well as, the pro-inflammatory cytokines levels (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-17). Moreover, the activation of JAK/STAT, MAPKs and NF-κB pathways was drastically ameliorated. According to Nrf2 and HO-1, the protein expressions were up-regulated in those mice fed with EVOO.

Conclusion: These results support the interest of EVOO as a beneficial functional food to prevent the development of the rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Keywords: CIA; EVOO; Inflammatory response; Olive oil; Rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Arthritis, Experimental / diet therapy*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cartilage / pathology*
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein / blood
  • Collagen / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / metabolism
  • Inflammation / diet therapy*
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Olive Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphorylation
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • NF-kappa B
  • Nfe2l2 protein, mouse
  • Olive Oil
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Stat3 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Collagen
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3
  • Mmp3 protein, mouse