Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 53–62 | Cite as

Ellagic acid toxicity and interaction with benzo[a]pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol in human bronchial epithelial cells

  • Robert W. Teel
  • Merrill S. Babcock
  • Rakesh Dixit
  • Gary D. Stoner


Ellagic acid, a plant phenol present in various foods consumed by humans, has been reported to have both anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic potential. To evaluate the potential anti-carcinogenic property of ellagic acid, we tested its effects on the toxicity of ben-zo[a]pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene, 7,8-dihydrodiol and binding of benzo[a]yrene to DNA in cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. The toxicity of ellagic acid itself for human bronchial epithelial cells was also determined. Using a colony-forming efficiency assay, it was found that a nontoxic concentration of ellagic acid (5 μg/ml) enhanced the toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene.7,8-dihydrodiol in human bronchial epithelial cells. In contrast, ellagic acid at concentrations of l.5 and 3.0 μg/ml inhibited binding of benzo[a]pyrenemetabolites to DNA in these cells. An explanation for the potentiating effect of ellagic acid on the toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene, 7,8-dihydrodiol will require further investigation into the possible mechanisms of interaction between these two compounds.

Key words

benzo[a]pyrene metabolites ellagic acids human bronchial epithelial cells toxicity 




B[a]P 7,8-DHD





(±) 7β,8α-dihydroxy-9β,10β-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene






colony forming efficiency


ellagic acid


human bronchial epithelial


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Copyright information

© Princeton Scientific Publishing Co., Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Teel
    • 1
  • Merrill S. Babcock
    • 2
  • Rakesh Dixit
    • 3
  • Gary D. Stoner
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologySchool of Medicine, Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda
  2. 2.Upjohn Company
  3. 3.Eppeley Institute for Cancer ResearchUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmaha
  4. 4.Department of PathologyMedical College of OhioToledo

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