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Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2012 Sep;20(5):492-8. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2012.20.5.492.

Potential in vitro Protective Effect of Quercetin, Catechin, Caffeic Acid and Phytic Acid against Ethanol-Induced Oxidative Stress in SK-Hep-1 Cells.

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Department of Biomedicinal Science & Biotechnology, Pai-Chai University, Daejon 302-735, Republic of Korea ; School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea.


Phytochemicals have been known to exhibit potent antioxidant activity. This study examined cytoprotective effects of phytochemicals including quercetin, catechin, caffeic acid, and phytic acid against oxidative damage in SK-Hep-1 cells induced by the oxidative and non-oxidative metabolism of ethanol. Exposure of the cells to excess ethanol resulted in a significant increase in cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, lipid hydroperoxide (LPO), and antioxidant enzyme activity. Excess ethanol also caused a reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and the quantity of reduced glutathione (GSH). Co-treatment of cells with ethanol and quercetin, catechin, caffeic acid and phytic acid significantly inhibited oxidative ethanol metabolism-induced cytotoxicity by blocking ROS production. When the cells were treated with ethanol after pretreatment of 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP), increased cytotoxicity, ROS production, antioxidant enzyme activity, and loss of MMP were observed. The addition of quercetin, catechin, caffeic acid and phytic acid to these cells showed suppression of non-oxidative ethanol metabolism-induced cytotoxicity, similar to oxidative ethanol metabolism. These results suggest that quercetin, catechin, caffeic acid and phytic acid have protective effects against ethanol metabolism-induced oxidative insult in SK-Hep-1 cells by blocking ROS production and elevating antioxidant potentials.


Antioxidant; Oxidative stress; Phytochemical; ROS

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