Dietary antioxidants provide differential subcellular protection in epithelial cells

Stuart G. Jarrett, Joy Cuenco, Mike Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study aimed to evaluate the organelle-specific antioxidant/ pro-oxidant actions of clinically important dietary antioxidants against oxidative stress. An in vitro cellular model was employed to investigate the antioxidant/pro-oxidant effects of various concentrations (1, 10 and 100 μM) of ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol and β-carotene during H2O2-induced oxidative stress. Damage to nuclear and mitochondrial genomes was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and oxidation of membrane lipids was measured via colorimetric assays. The key findings were: (i) dietary antioxidants conferred a dose-dependent protective effect (with a pro-oxidant shift at higher concentrations); (ii) the protection conferred to different sub-cellular organelles is highly specific to the dietary antioxidant; (iii) the mtDNA is highly sensitive to oxidative attack compared to nDNA (P < 0.05); and (iv) mtDNA protection conferred by dietary antioxidants was required to improve protection against oxidative-induced cell death. This study shows that antioxidant-induced protection of mtDNA is an important target for future oxidative stress therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalRedox Report
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Mitochondrial DNA damage
  • Nuclear DNA damage
  • Β-carotene
  • α-tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical

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