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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jul 11;55(14):5881-91. Epub 2007 Jun 13.

Direct in vivo evidence of protective effects of grape seed procyanidin fractions and other antioxidants against ethanol-induced oxidative DNA damage in mouse brain cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, 110016 Shenyang, People's Republic of China.


Ethanol is a principle ingredient of alcoholic beverages with potential neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity, and the ethanol-associated oxidative DNA damage in the central nervous system is well documented. The present work studied the possible protective effects of grape seed oligomer and polymer procyanidin fractions against ethanol-induced toxicity and compared these with resveratrol and other well-known antioxidants (ascorbic acid and vitamin E). By using the single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay), a simple and sensitive technique for genotoxicity studies, the potential genotoxicity of acute and chronic ethanol administration in the different brain regions was investigated. Acute ethanol administration, at the dose of 2.5 or 5.0 g kg(-1) i.p., could induce significant DNA damage in cerebellum and hippocampus. Chronic administration of ethanol at the dose of 2.5 or 5.0 g kg-1 p.o. for 30 days could induce significant DNA damage in cerebellum, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and cortex, which could be auto-repaired at least 3 days after ethanol withdrawal. Oral administration of grape seed oligomer and polymer procyanidins and resveratrol (25, 50, and 100 mg kg(-1)) for 3 days before acute ethanol (5.0 g kg(-1), i.p.) or repeated administration of these substances together with ethanol (5.0 g kg(-1), p.o.) for 30 consecutive days could significantly inhibit DNA damage in brain cells induced by ethanol. As compared, ascorbic acid (50, 100, and 200 mg kg(-1)) and vitamin E (100, 200, and 400 mg kg(-1)) could also present protective effects on ethanol-induced DNA damage. Furthermore, the concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde in brain regions of the mice were detected by gas chromatography after administration of ethanol plus antioxidants. All of the results indicated that ethanol could induce region-specific oxidative DNA damage in which the cerebellum and hippocampus were more vulnerable, but intake of grape seed procyanidins or other natural antioxidants could protect the brain against ethanol-induced genotoxicity.

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