Naringenin (Nar) is one of major citrus flavonoids predominantly found in grapefruit and orange. In vivo studies have demonstrated Nar potential as a normolipidemic agent capable to reduce circulating cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic rabbits, rats, and patients, suggesting a new role for this molecule in cardiovascular disease prevention. Although Nar cholesterol-lowering effects are known, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. Interestingly, Nar binds to the estrogen receptors (ERs), modulating both transcriptional and membrane-initiating signals. Although estrogen and ERs are deeply involved in lipid metabolism, no data are available regarding a putative role of these nuclear receptors as mediators of the hypocholesterolemic effect exerted by Nar. Thus, the aim of this work was to study the involvement of ERs in Nar-induced modulation of cholesterol metabolism. Results obtained in HepG2 cell line demonstrate that Nar can modulate the molecular network of cholesterol homeostasis. However, these effects were only partially dependent on the activity of estrogen receptor alpha. As a whole, our data highlight new molecular mechanisms by which Nar influences cholesterol metabolism, opening a new scenery about dietary impact on human health.
Pallottini, V., Segatto, M., Acconcia, F., Fiocchetti, M., Marino, M. (2022). Mechanism Underlying Naringenin Hypocholesterolemic Effects: Involvement of Estrogen Receptor α Subtype. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 23(24), 15809 [10.3390/ijms232415809].