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Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Jul;287(1-2):21-32. Epub 2006 Apr 28.

Comparative antioxidant activity of tocotrienols and the novel chromanyl-polyisoprenyl molecule FeAox-6 in isolated membranes and intact cells.

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Institute of General Pathology, Catholic University, 00168, Rome, Italy.


Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases and antioxidants may represent potential tools for the prevention of these diseases. Here, we investigated the antioxidant efficiency of different tocotrienol isoforms (alpha-, delta-, gamma-tocotrienols), and that of FeAox-6, a novel synthetic compound which combines, by a stable covalent bond, the chroman head of vitamin E and a polyisoprenyl sequence of four conjugated double bonds into a single molecule. The antioxidant efficiency was evaluated as the ability of the compounds to inhibit lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, heat shock protein (hsp) expression in rat liver microsomal membranes as well as in RAT-1 immortalized fibroblasts challenged with different free radical sources, including 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) (AAPH), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tert-BOOH) and H2O2. Our results show that individual tocotrienols display different antioxidant potencies. Irrespective of the prooxidant used, the order of effectiveness was:delta-tocotrienol > gamma-tocotrienol = alpha-tocotrienol in both isolated membranes and intact cells. This is presumably due to the decreased methylation of delta-tocotrienol chromane ring, which allows the molecule to be more easily incorporated into cell membranes. Moreover, we found that FeAox-6 showed an antioxidant potency greater than that of delta-tocotrienol. Such an efficiency seems to depend on the concomitant presence of a chromane ring and a phytyl chain in the molecule, which because of four conjugated double bonds, may induce a greater mobility and a more uniform distribution within cell membrane. In view of these results, FeAox-6 represents a new potential preventive agent in chronic diseases in which oxidative stress plays a pathogenic role.

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