Background: The antimicrobial activity of the Equisetum arvense L. extract and the mechanisms involved in the in vitro effects on endothelial vascular cells exposed to hyperosmotic stress were evaluated.
Methods: Antimicrobial activity was evaluated by disk diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination, and oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis, in pretreatment with Equisetum arvense L., caffeic acid, and cathechin, were quantified.
Results: The results have shown that Equisetum arvense L. exhibited antibacterial effects only on pathogenic gram-positive cocci. The modulatory activity of Equisetum arvense L. on endothelial cells exposed to hypertonic medium was different and depended on the concentration used. Low concentrations of tested compounds exerted antioxidant effect and diminished the activity of caspase-8 and also increased IκB expression while in high doses, Equisetum arvense L. was prooxidant, induced apoptosis, and decreased IL-6 secretion.
Conclusions: These experimental findings suggest that Equisetum arvense L. has antibacterial effects on gram-positive cocci and, administered in low dose, may be a new therapeutic approach for diseases associated with hypertonic conditions or oxidative stress and apoptosis.