In addition to high plasma glucose, increased levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) have been found in obese subjects, where are considered as a novel risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of a novel nutraceutical formulation based on grape polyphenols (registered as Taurisolo (R)) in counteracting TMAO- and high glucose (HG)-induced cytotoxicity in cardiomyoblast H9c2 cells. Cell damage was induced with HG (HG-H9c2) and HG+TMAO (THG-H9c2); both experimental cell models were, thus, incubated for 72 h in the presence or absence of Taurisolo (R). It was observed that Taurisolo (R) significantly increased the cell viability and reduced lactate dehydrogenase and aspartate transaminase release in both HG- and THG-H9c2 cells. Additionally, through its antioxidant activity, Taurisolo (R) modulated cell proliferation via ERK activation in THG-H9c2. Furthermore, Taurisolo (R) was able to induce autophagic process via increasing the expression of LC3II, a protein marker involved in formation of autophagosome and ex novo synthesis of sphingomyelin, ceramides, and their metabolites both in HG- and THG-H9c2 cells. Finally, Taurisolo (R) reduced hypertrophy and induced differentiation of HG-H9C2 cells into cardiomyocyte-like cells. These data suggest that Taurisolo (R) counteracts the toxicity induced by TMAO and HG concentrations increasing autophagic process and activating de novo sphingolipid synthesis, resulting in a morphological cell remodeling. In conclusion, our results allow speculating that Taurisolo (R), combined with energy restriction, may represent a useful nutraceutical approach for prevention of cardiomyopathy in obese subjects.
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