Fisetin attenuates hydrogen peroxide-induced cell damage by scavenging reactive oxygen species and activating protective functions of cellular glutathione system

  • Kyoung Ah Kang
  • Mei Jing Piao
  • Ki Cheon Kim
  • Ji Won Cha
  • Jian Zheng
  • Cheng Wen Yao
  • Sungwook Chae
  • Jin Won HyunEmail author


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can induce cell damage by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in DNA damage and cell death. The aim of this study is to elucidate the protective effects of fisetin (3,7,3′,4′,-tetrahydroxy flavone) against H2O2-induced cell damage. Fisetin reduced the level of superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical in cell free system, and intracellular ROS generated by H2O2. Moreover, fisetin protected against H2O2-induced membrane lipid peroxidation, cellular DNA damage, and protein carbonylation, which are the primary cellular outcomes of H2O2 treatment. Furthermore, fisetin increased the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) and expression of glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit, which is decreased by H2O2. Conversely, a GSH inhibitor abolished the cytoprotective effect of fisetin against H2O2-induced cells damage. Taken together, our results suggest that fisetin protects against H2O2-induced cell damage by inhibiting ROS generation, thereby maintaining the protective role of the cellular GSH system.


Fisetin Reactive oxygen species Cell damage Reduced glutathione 



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2013R1A1A2010042).


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoung Ah Kang
    • 1
  • Mei Jing Piao
    • 1
  • Ki Cheon Kim
    • 1
  • Ji Won Cha
    • 1
  • Jian Zheng
    • 1
  • Cheng Wen Yao
    • 1
  • Sungwook Chae
    • 2
  • Jin Won Hyun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Medicine and Applied Radiological Science Research InstituteJeju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Aging Research CenterKorea Institute of Oriental MedicineDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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