Neuroprotective effect of cocoa flavonids on in vitro oxidative stress
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Cocoa is a rich source of flavonoids that, among other functions, can act as antioxidants. In living systems, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) activate an array of intracellular cascades, including mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), that are closely associated with cell death or survival pathways.
Aim of the study
To ascertain the role of a cocoa extract and its main flavonoid, (-)-epicatechin, in an in vitro model of oxidative stress induced in a neuronal cell line.
We analyzed ROS production by fluorometry (dichlorofluorescein assay), and activation of MAPK pathways including extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK 1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p-38, by Western blot analysis.
Cells incubated with cocoa extract or (-)-epicatechin, reduced ROS production in a dose-dependent manner, reaching 35% inhibition. pJNK and p38, involved in apoptosis, were down-modulated by cocoa extract and (-)-epicatechin with p38 inhibition reaching up to 70%.
Our results show that cocoa extract and (-)-epicatechin may exert a neuroprotective action by reducing ROS production and modulating MAPK activation.
Keywordscocoa c-JNK MAPK neuronal damage oxidative stress
Analysis of variance
- ERK 1/2
Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2
Glutathione-S-transferase enzyme-class Pi
c-Jun N-terminal kinase
Mitogen-activated protein kinases
Oxygen radical absorbance capacity
Reactive oxygen species
Tris buffered saline solution
TBS with 0.1% Tween 20
E.R. is the recipient of fellowships from the Generalitat de Catalunya (2003FI 00578 and 2005BE 00709).
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