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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

The effect of different antioxidants on glutathione turnover in human cell lines and their interaction with hydrogen peroxide

Hultberg M, Hultberg B


Background: Glutathione plays crucial roles in antioxidant defence and glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress and may therefore play a key role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the effects on glutathione turnover of thiol and non-thiol antioxidants in human cell cultures and if any of the antioxidant had a short-term cellular effect against different levels of hydrogen peroxide. Methods: We have investigated the effect on the total glutathione amount in HeLa and hepatoma cell cultures of thiol antioxidants in comparison with non-thiol antioxidants, such as a copper chelator, Vitamin C, and a flavonoid. Furthermore, we have investigated the short-term (within 24 h) interaction of the different antioxidants with hydrogen peroxide. Results and conclusion: Lipoic acid and quercetin Quer) were the two antioxidants that showed the highest stimulation of glutathione synthesis in cell cultures as judged by the total glutathione amount. However, no antioxidant protected against hydrogen peroxide present in concentrations that lowered cell protein. This finding may be attributed to the fact that it is necessary to incubate cell cultures with antioxidants or small doses of oxidants for a period before the cultures are exposed to hydrogen peroxide in order to enhance the antioxidant defence. The presence of Quer and Vitamin C lowered cell protein and total glutathione even in cell cultures containing hydrogen peroxide in concentrations that did not lower cell protein. This finding might be attributed to pro-oxidant properties and formation of excess reactive oxygen species in the presence of Quer and Vitamin C. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved


antioxidants; glutathione; HeLa cell lines; hepatoma cell lines; hydrogen peroxide

Published in

Chemico-Biological Interactions
2006, Volume: 163, number: 3, pages: 192-198

    SLU Authors

    • Hultberg, Malin

      • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science

    Publication Identifiers


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