Free radical biology & medicine

Redox-dependent induction of antioxidant defenses by phenolic diterpenes confers stress tolerance in normal human skin fibroblasts: Insights on replicative senescence.

PMID 25744415


Mild stress-induced hormesis represents a promising strategy for targeting the age-related accumulation of molecular damage and, therefore, for preventing diseases and achieving healthy aging. Fruits, vegetables, and spices contain a wide variety of hormetic phytochemicals, which may explain the beneficial health effects associated with the consumption of these dietary components. In the present study, the induction of cellular antioxidant defenses by the phenolic diterpenes carnosic acid (CA) and carnosol (CS) were studied in normal human skin fibroblasts, and insights into the aging process at the cellular level investigated. We observed that CA and CS induced several cytoprotective enzymes and antioxidant defenses in human fibroblasts, whose induction was dependent on the cellular redox state for CS and associated with Nrf2 signaling for both compounds. The stress response elicited by preincubation with CS conferred a cytoprotective action against a following oxidant challenge with tert-butyl hydroperoxide, confirming its hormetic effect. Preincubation of normal fibroblasts with CS also protected against hydrogen peroxide-induced premature senescence. Furthermore, cultivation of middle passage normal human skin fibroblasts in the presence of CS ameliorated the physiological state of cells during replicative senescence. Our results support the view that mild stress-induced antioxidant defenses by CS can confer stress tolerance in normal cells and may have important implications in the promotion of healthy aging.