Neurochemical research

Neuroprotective Effects of Theaflavins Against Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis in PC12 Cells.

PMID 27686660


Oxidative stress can induce neuronal apoptosis via the production of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. This process is as a major pathogenic mechanism in neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we aimed to clarify whether theaflavins protect PC12 cells from oxidative stress damage induced by H2O2. A cell model of PC12 cells undergoing oxidative stress was created by exposing cells to 200xa0μM H2O2 in the presence or absence of varying concentrations of theaflavins (5, 10, and 20xa0μM). Cell viability was monitored using the MTT assay and Hoechst 33258 staining, showing that 10xa0μM theaflavins enhanced cell survival following 200xa0μM H2O2 induced toxicity and increased cell viability by approximately 40 %. Additionally, we measured levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant enzyme activity. This suggested that the neuroprotective effect of theaflavins against oxidative stress in PC12 cells is derived from suppression of oxidant enzyme activity. Furthermore, Western blot analyses indicated that theaflavins downregulated the ratio of pro-apoptosis/anti-apoptosis proteins Bax/Bcl-2. Theaflavins also downregulated the expression of caspase-3 compared with a H2O2-treated group that had not been treated with theaflavins. Interestingly, this is the first study to report that the four main components of theaflavins found in black tea can protect neural cells (PC12) from apoptosis induced by H2O2. These findings provide the foundations for a new field of using theaflavins or its source, black tea, in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress.

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