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Life Sci. 2005 Jun 3;77(3):345-58. Epub 2005 Feb 9.

Ilex paraguariensis extracts are potent inhibitors of nitrosative stress: a comparative study with green tea and wines using a protein nitration model and mammalian cell cytotoxicity.

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Glycation, Oxidation and Disease Laboratory, Division of Basic Sciences, Touro University-California, 1310 Johnson Lane, Mare Island Vallejo, CA 94592, USA.


Due to the increasing importance of nitrosative stress in pathology and the efficacy displayed by flavonoids in cancelling the effects of peroxynitrite, we decided to conduct a comparative study of three commonly used beverages with the highest polyphenol contents and proven antioxidant properties: mate (Ilex paraguariensis); green tea (Camelia sinensis) extracts and white and red wines of the main varietals. We directly evaluated and compared the extracts and wines as protein nitration inhibitors using 3-nitrotyrosine as a biomarker, we studied the extracts as protectors from OONO-induced cytotoxicity in two mammalian cell lines. Both green tea and mate extracts have a high polyphenol content, in the case of Ip, its higher concentration and higher free radical quenching activity on the DPPH assay may be mainly due to the sui generis extraction procedure. When BSA was incubated in the presence of SIN-1, a time and dose dependent nitration of the protein is clearly shown. Co-incubation of BSA with Ip, green tea or red wines led to a dose dependent inhibition of the effect. Ip displayed the highest inhibitory activity, followed by red wines and the green tea. Dilutions as low as 1/1500 produced more than 80% inhibition of albumin nitration. When we studied peroxynitrite-induced cytotoxicity in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages and 31EG4 mammary cells., we found a potent, dose-dependent protective effect that was Ilex paraguariensis > red wines > green tea. Taken together, our results indicate that when the herbal preparations studied here are prepared the way they are usually drunk, Ip displays the highest inhibition of protein nitration, and the highest promotion of cell survival, whereas green tea or red wines display significant but lesser effects at the same concentrations. Further studies aiming at isolation of the active principles and assessment of their bioavailability are warranted.

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