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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

CD39/NTPDase-1 expression and activity in human umbilical vein endothelial cells are differentially regulated by leaf extracts from Rubus caesius and Rubus idaeus

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  • 2,
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  • 1Email author
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201419:202

  • Received: 12 February 2014
  • Accepted: 8 July 2014
  • Published:


Many experimental studies have demonstrated the favorable biological activities of plants belonging to the genus Rubus, but little is known of the role of Rubus leaf extracts in the modulation of the surface membrane expression and activity of endothelial apyrase. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of 1–15 μg/ml Rubus extracts on CD39 expression and enzymatic activity, and on the activation (ICAM-1 expression) and viability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). The polyphenolic contents and antioxidative capacities of extracts from dewberry (R. caesius L.) and raspberry (R. idaeus L.) leaves were also investigated. The techniques applied were flow cytometry (endothelial surface membrane expression of ICAM-1 and CD39), malachite green assay (CD39 activity), HPLC-DAD (quantitative analysis of polyphenolic extract), ABTS, DPPH and FRAP spectrometric assays (antioxidant capacity), and the MTT test (cell viability). Significantly increased CD39 expressions and significantly decreased ATPDase activities were found in the cells treated with 15 μg/ml of either extract compared to the results for the controls. Neither of the extracts affected cell proliferation, but both significantly augmented endothelial cell ICAM-1 expression. The overall antioxidant capacities of the examined extracts remained relatively high and corresponded well to the determined total polyphenol contents. Overall, the results indicate that under in vitro conditions dewberry and raspberry leaf extracts have unfavorable impact on endothelial cells.


  • Endothelial cells
  • Polyphenolic leaf extracts
  • Rubus
  • Dewberry
  • Raspberry
  • Polyphenols
  • CD39/ATPDase
  • ICAM-1
  • Adhesive molecules
  • Cell activation