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Margalef M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Pons Z.,Rovira i Virgili University | Muguerza B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Muguerza B.,Center Tecnologic Of Nutricio lut | Arola-Arnal A.,Rovira i Virgili University
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

This study describes the development and validation of a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method for determination of a large number of flavanol colonic derivatives in biological samples. The method was validated with rat plasma after the intake of grape seed flavanols. The minimum plasma volume necessary to maintain good recovery values within the range of 83-110% for all of the standards was determined by micro solid-phase extraction (μ-SPE). In total, 16 commercial standards were used to measure 30 different phenolic compounds present at low concentration levels (micromolar). The chromatographic method enabled reliable quantification of plasma colonic flavanol derivatives with low limits of detection and quantification, achieving values of 0.03 nM and 0.10 nM, respectively. The developed method can be readily applied to determine all of the flavanol metabolites that are most likely responsible for the majority of biological effects of poorly absorbed flavanols. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Sola R.,Rovira i Virgili University | Valls R.-M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Puzo J.,Hospital Universitario San Jorge | Calabuig J.-R.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

A dietary supplement (AP, Armolipid Plus) that combines red yeast rice extract, policosanol, berberine, folic acid, coenzyme Q10 and asthaxantine can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers. The aim of this study was to assess whether the intake of AP, in combination with dietary recommendations, reduces serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) concentrations and other CVD biomarkers in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Eligible patients were recruited from the outpatient clinics of six Spanish hospitals Hospital Virgen del Roćo (Sevilla); Hospital San Jorge (Huesca); Hospital San Pedro (Logroño); Hospital Gregorio Marañón (Madrid), Hospital la Fe (Valencia) and Hospital Universitari Sant Joan (Reus) as recruiting and coordinating center. 102 participants (mean age ± SD; 50.91±11.61; 32 men) with low CVD, with mild-to-moderately elevated LDL-c (between 3.35 mmol/L and 4.88 mmol/L) without hypolipemic therapy were randomized in a double-blind, parallel, controlled, multicenter trial commencing January 2012 and ending December 2012. Among the exclusion criteria were any concomitant chronic disease, triglycerides (TG) >3.97 mmol/L, pregnant or lactating, and history of CVD. At 12 weeks, compared to placebo, AP reduced LDL-c by -6.9%, apolipoprotein (Apo) B-100 by -6.6% and total cholesterol/HDL-c ratio by -5.5%, the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio by -8.6%, while increasing ApoA1 by +2.5% (p<0.05). AP consumption was associated with modest mean weight loss of -0.93 kg (95%CI: -1.74 to -0.12; P = 0.02) compared with control group while dietary composition remained unchanged in the AP group. The AP product was well tolerated. In conclusion, AP, combined with dietary recommendations, reduced LDL-c levels as well as total cholesterol/HDL-c and ApoB/ApoA1 ratios, while increasing Apo A1, all of which are improvements in CVD risk indicators. AP is a product which could benefit patients having moderate hyperlipidemia and excess body weight. © 2014 Solà et al.

del Bas J.M.,Center Tecnologic Of Nutricio lut | Crescenti A.,Center Tecnologic Of Nutricio lut | Arola-Arnal A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Oms-Oliu G.,University of Lleida | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most prevalent noncommunicable diseases in humans. Different studies have identified dietary procyanidins as bioactive compounds with beneficial properties against CVD by improving lipid homeostasis, among other mechanisms. The aim of this work was to assess whether grape seed procyanidin consumption at a physiological dose during the perinatal period could influence the CVD risk of the offspring. Wistar rat dams were treated with a grape seed procyanidin extract (GSPE; 25. mg/kg of body weight per day) or vehicle during gestation and lactation. The adult male offspring of GSPE-treated dams presented decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, increased total cholesterol-to-HDL-C ratios and an exacerbated fasting triglyceride-to-HDL-C ratios (atherogenic index of plasma) compared to the control group. Impaired reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) was evidenced by the accumulation of cholesterol in skeletal muscle and by decreased fecal excretion of cholesterol and bile acids, which was consistent with the observed mRNA down-regulation of the rate-limiting enzyme in the hepatic bile acid synthesis pathway Cyp7A1. Conversely, GSPE programming also resulted in up-regulated gene expression of different key components of the RCT process, such as hepatic Npc1, Abcg1, Abca1, Lxra, Srebp2, Lcat, Scarb1 and Pltp, and the repression of microRNA miR-33a expression, a key negative controller of hepatic RCT at the gene expression level. Our results show that maternal intake of grape procyanidins during the perinatal period impacts different components of the RCT process, resulting in increased CVD risk in the adult offspring. © 2015 Elsevier Inc..

Sala E.,Rovira i Virgili University | Guasch L.,Rovira i Virgili University | Iwaszkiewicz J.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Mulero M.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Their large scaffold diversity and properties, such as structural complexity and drug similarity, form the basis of claims that natural products are ideal starting points for drug design and development. Consequently, there has been great interest in determining whether such molecules show biological activity toward protein targets of pharmacological relevance. One target of particular interest is hIKK-2, a serine-threonine protein kinase belonging to the IKK complex that is the primary component responsible for activating NF-κB in response to various inflammatory stimuli. Indeed, this has led to the development of synthetic ATP-competitive inhibitors for hIKK-2. Therefore, the main goals of this study were (a) to use virtual screening to identify potential hIKK-2 inhibitors of natural origin that compete with ATP and (b) to evaluate the reliability of our virtual-screening protocol by experimentally testing the in vitro activity of selected natural-product hits. Methodology/Principal Findings: We thus predicted that 1,061 out of the 89,425 natural products present in the studied database would inhibit hIKK-2 with good ADMET properties. Notably, when these 1,061 molecules were merged with the 98 synthetic hIKK-2 inhibitors used in this study and the resulting set was classified into ten clusters according to chemical similarity, there were three clusters that contained only natural products. Five molecules from these three clusters (for which no anti-inflammatory activity has been previously described) were then selected for in vitro activity testing, in which three out of the five molecules were shown to inhibit hIKK-2. Conclusions/Significance: We demonstrated that our virtual-screening protocol was successful in identifying lead compounds for developing new inhibitors for hIKK-2, a target of great interest in medicinal chemistry. Additionally, all the tools developed during the current study (i.e., the homology model for the hIKK-2 kinase domain and the pharmacophore) will be made available to interested readers upon request. © 2011 Sala et al.

Guasch L.,Rovira i Virgili University | Sala E.,Rovira i Virgili University | Valls C.,Rovira i Virgili University | Blay M.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design | Year: 2011

Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) full agonists are molecules with powerful insulin-sensitizing action that are used as antidiabetic drugs. Unfortunately, these compounds also present various side effects. Recent results suggest that effective PPARγ agonists should show a low transactivation activity but a high binding affinity to inhibit phosphorylation at Ser273. We use several structure activity relationship studies of synthetic PPARγ agonists to explore the different binding features of full and partial PPARγ agonists with the aim of differentiating the features needed for binding and those needed for the transactivation activity of PPARγ. Our results suggest that effective partial agonists should have a hydrophobic moiety and an acceptor site with an appropriate conformation to interact with arm II and establish a hydrogen bond with Ser342 or an equivalent residue at arm III. Despite the fact that interactions with arm I increase the binding affinity, this region should be avoided in order to not increase the transactivation activity of potential PPARγ partial agonists. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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