Objective: In this research, fatty acid profile and polyphenolic content of an ethanolic extract of walnut from Juglans regia L. collected in Central Italy, were characterized. The potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the extract were investigated in the human keratinocytes cell line.
Methods: Fatty acid profile was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis, total phenolic content by Folin-Ciocalteu method and aluminum chloride colorimetric method was used for determination of total flavonoids. Kertatinocytes were exposed to t-butyl hydroperoxide or Tumor Necrosis Factor alfa in the absence or presence of extract. Reduced glutathione was determined by Sedlak method; lipid peroxidation was assessed by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. t-butyl hydroperoxide and Tumor Necrosis Factor alfa-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species were monitored by fluorescent probes. The expression of some genes related to the inflammatory process (IL-6, IL-8, ikB, and ICAM) were analysed by Real-time PCR.
Results: JRE contains a favourable fatty acid profile with low saturated fats (19%) and high-unsaturated fats (81%) with a prevalence of the omega-6 linoleic acid (48%). Also a significant amount of polyphenols was found (5,0052 mg gallic acid equivalent/gdw). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of JRE were observed on analysed cellular model. JRE antioxidants counteracted ROS production, GSH depletion and lipid peroxidation as well downregulated the expression of some genes related to the inflammatory process. Moreover, polyunsaturated fatty acids exhibited anti-inflammatory properties.
Conclusion: The obtained results uphold walnut as dietary adjunct in health promotion and drive towards its development in drug therapy against chronic inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory skin diseases.