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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Oct;45(10):1910-7. Epub 2007 May 4.

Catechins: natural free-radical scavengers against ochratoxin A-induced cell damage in a pig kidney cell line (LLC-PK1).

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Department of Pharmacology, Bologna University, via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


Besides aflatoxin B1, recent findings suggested that oxidative stress plays an important role in the toxicity of an other mycotoxin: ochratoxin A (OTA). The protective effect of two catechins (epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG, and epicatechin gallate, ECG) against OTA-induced cytotoxicity was investigated in a pig kidney cell line (LLC-PK1). The ability of the catechins to reduce ROS production and DNA fragmentation induced by OTA was also investigated. Our experiments proved the significant cytoprotective effects of the molecules in vitro from OTA-induced cell damage. In particular a 24h pre-treatment with EGCG or ECG restored cell viability with respect to OTA alone. Pre-treatment with EGCG at low concentration for 8 days protected cells from OTA-induced cell death. Moreover both catechins reduced OTA-induced ROS production. A reduction of OTA-induced DNA fragmentation was found for LLC-PK1 cells pre-treated with EGCG and ECG. The free-radical scavenging capacity of both catechins was tested with the Briggs-Rauscher oscillating method (pH approximately 2) and the TEAC assay (pH 7.4). The results show a good scavenging power according with inhibition of ROS production. Catechins could be useful to develop alimentary strategies for both humans and animals to prevent OTA-induced cytotoxicity.

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