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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2015;25(4):340-6. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2015.1045659. Epub 2015 May 21.

Curcumin attenuates quinocetone-induced oxidative stress and genotoxicity in human hepatocyte L02 cells.

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a College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University , Beijing , PR China.


Quinocetone (QCT), a new quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides, has been used as antimicrobial feed additive in China. Potential genotoxicity of QCT was concerned as a public health problem. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of curcumin on QCT-induced oxidative stress and genotoxicity in human hepatocyte L02 cells. Cell viability and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), biomarkers of oxidative stress including superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) level were measured. Meanwhile, comet assay and micronucleus assay were carried out to evaluate genotoxicity. The results showed that, compared to the control group, QCT at the concentration ranges of 2-16 μg/mL significantly decreased L02 cell viability, which was significantly attenuated with curcumin pretreatment (2.5 and 5 μM). In addition, QCT significantly increased cell oxidative stress, characterized by increases of intracellular ROS level, while decreased endogenous antioxidant biomarkers GSH level and SOD activity (all p < 0.05 or 0.01). Curcumin pretreatment significantly attenuated ROS formation, inhibited the decreases of SOD activity and GSH level. Furthermore, curcumin significantly reduced QCT-induced DNA fragments and micronuclei formation. These data suggest that curcumin could attenuate QCT-induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in L02 cells, which may be attributed to ROS scavenging and anti-oxidative ability of curcumin. Importantly, consumption of curcumin may be a plausible way to prevent quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides-mediated oxidative stress and genotoxicity in human or animals.


Curcumin; ROS; genotoxicity; oxidative stress; quinocetone

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