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2010 | 57 | 2 | 217-221
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Cytotoxicity of β-carotene cleavage products and its prevention by antioxidants

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When we investigated the genotoxicity of β-carotene cleavage products (CPs) in primary rat hepatocytes stimulated to proliferate, we observed dose-dependent increases of chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei. In contrast to other genotoxic substances, however, this increased genotoxicity was not accompanied by increased cytotoxicity. As a consequence we observed metaphases showing massive chromosomal damage, indicating inhibition of apoptosis by CPs enabling these cells to proceed in the cell cycle. Since proliferative stimulation by growth factors may support this effect, the in vitro toxicological effects of CPs were studied on proliferatively quiescent primary rat hepatocytes. A significant increase of both apoptosis and necrosis was found. Supplementation with antioxidants did not significantly lower the level of apoptosis, while the level of necrosis was significantly reduced by Trolox and N-acetylcysteine at all concentrations tested as well as ascorbic acid (50 µM) and a combination of Trolox (50 µM) and ascorbic acid (50 µM). These observations indicate that a) the cytotoxic potential in combination with the genotoxic potential of CPs may promote the initiation of cells due to compensatory cell division in exposed tissues and may aggravate inflammatory processes under chronic exposure, and b) the applied antioxidants may protect from cytotoxicity primarily via the detoxification of aldehydic β-carotene cleavage products.
Physical description
  • University of Prishtina, Department of Biology, Prishtina, Kosovo
  • Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • KortexMed Research, Institute of Physiotherapy and Gerontology, Bad Harzburg, Germany
  • Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
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