Primary dysmenorrhea is a common occurrence in adolescent women and is a type of chronic inflammation. Dysmenorrhea is due to an increase in oxidative stress, which increases cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, increases the concentration of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α), and increases the calcium concentration in uterine smooth muscle, causing excessive uterine contractions and pain. The polyphenolic compound oleocanthal (OC) in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. This study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effect of extra virgin olive oil and its active ingredient oleocanthal (OC) on prostaglandin-induced uterine hyper-contraction, its antioxidant ability, and related mechanisms. We used force-displacement transducers to calculate uterine contraction in an ex vivo study. To analyze the analgesic effect, in an in vivo study, we used an acetic acid/oxytocin-induced mice writhing model and determined uterus contraction-related signaling protein expression. The active compound OC inhibited calcium/PGF2α-induced uterine hyper-contraction. In the acetic acid and oxytocin-induced mice writhing model, the intervention of the EVOO acetonitrile layer extraction inhibited pain by inhibiting oxidative stress and the phosphorylation of the protein kinase C (PKC)/extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)/ myosin light chain (MLC) signaling pathway. These findings supported the idea that EVOO and its active ingredient, OC, can effectively decrease oxidative stress and PGF2α-induced uterine hyper-contraction, representing a further treatment for dysmenorrhea.
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