Olive Leaf Extract, from Olea europaea L., Reduces Palmitate-Induced Inflammation via Regulation of Murine Macrophages Polarization

Nutrients. 2020 Nov 28;12(12):3663. doi: 10.3390/nu12123663.


Olive tree (Olea europaea L.) leaves are an abundant source of bioactive compounds with several beneficial effects for human health. Recently, the effect of olive leaf extract in obesity has been studied. However, the molecular mechanism in preventing obesity-related inflammation has not been elucidated. Obesity is a state of chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with an increase of pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages infiltration in the adipose tissue. In the current study, we explored Olea europaea L. leaf extract (OLE) anti-inflammatory activity using an in vitro model of obesity-induced inflammation obtained by stimulating murine macrophages RAW 264.7 with high dose of the free fatty acid palmitate. We found that OLE significantly suppressed the induction of pro-inflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), while it enhanced the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10. Moreover, we demonstrated that OLE reduced the oxidative stress induced by palmitate in macrophages by regulating the NF-E2-related factor 2 (NRF2)-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) pathway. Finally, we showed that OLE promoted the shift of M1 macrophage toward less inflammatory M2-cells via the modulation of the associated NF-κB and proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) signaling pathways. Thereby, our findings shed light on the potential therapeutic feature of OLE in recovering obesity-associated inflammation via regulating M1/M2 status.

Keywords: inflammation; macrophages; nutraceuticals; obesity; olive leaf.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Palmitates / toxicity*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells


  • Cytokines
  • Palmitates
  • Plant Extracts