Fermentation of Vaccinium floribundum Berries with Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Reduces Oxidative Stress in Endothelial Cells and Modulates Macrophages Function

Luisa Marracino, Angela Punzo, Paolo Severi, Rosane Nganwouo Tchoutang, Celia Vargas-De-la-cruz, Francesca Fortini, Francesco Vieceli Dalla Sega, Alessia Silla, Emanuele Porru, Patrizia Simoni, Valentina Rosta, Alessandro Trentini, Achille Wilfred Ouambo Talla, Silvana Hrelia, Carlo Cervellati, Paola Rizzo, Cristiana Caliceti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Accumulating evidence suggests that high consumption of natural antioxidants promotes health by reducing oxidative stress and, thus, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Simi-larly, fermentation of natural compounds with lactic acid bacteria (LAB), such as Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, enhances their beneficial properties as regulators of the immune, digestive, and cardiovascular system. We investigated the effects of fermentation with Lactiplantibacillus plantarum on the antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects of Pushgay berries (Vaccinium floribundum, Ericaceae family) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and macrophage cell line RAW264.7. Polyphenol content was assayed by Folin–Ciocalteu and HPLC-MS/MS analysis. The effects of berries solutions on cell viability or proliferation were assessed by WST8 (2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, monosodium salt and Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, Trypan blue exclusion test, and Alamar blue assay. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by a cell-based chemiluminescent probe for the detection of intracellular H2 O2 production in HUVECs. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression levels were investigated by RT-qPCR. Glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (Gpx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) activities, as markers of intracellular antioxidant defense, were evaluated by spectrophotometric analysis. The immunomodulatory activity was examined in RAW 264.7 by quantification of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and Tumor Necrosis Factor—alpha (TNFα) by RT-qPCR. Data showed that fermentation of Pushgay berries (i) enhances the content of quercetin aglycone, and (ii) increases their intracellular antioxidant activity, as indicated by the reduction in H2 O2-induced cell death and.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1560
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Pushgay (Vaccinium floribundum) berries
  • antioxidant activity
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • fermentation
  • immunostimulant activity
  • lactic acid bacteria (LAB)


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