International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Nov 2020)

New In Vitro Model of Oxidative Stress: Human Prostate Cells Injured with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) for the Screening of Antioxidants

  • Christian Galasso,
  • Concetta Piscitelli,
  • Christophe Brunet,
  • Clementina Sansone

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 22
p. 8707


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The antioxidant activity of natural compounds consists in their ability to modulate gene and protein expression, thus inducing an integrated cell protective response and repair processes against oxidative stress. New screening tools and methodologies are crucial for the actual requirement of new products with antioxidant activity to boost endogenous oxidative stress responsive pathways, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) metabolism and immune system activity, preserving human health and wellness. In this study, we performed and tested an integrated oxidative stress analysis, using DPPH assay and PNT2 cells injured with DPPH. We firstly investigated the mechanism of action of the oxidising agent (DPPH) on PNT2 cells, studying the variation in cell viability, oxidative stress genes, inflammatory mediator and ROS levels. The results reveal that DPPH activated ROS production and release of Prostaglandin E2 in PNT2 at low and intermediate doses, while cells switched from survival to cell death signals at high doses of the oxidising agent. This new in vitro oxidative stress model was validated by using Trolox, β-carotene and total extract of the green microalga Testraselmis suecica. Only the T. suecica extract can completely counteract DPPH-induced injury, since its chemical complexity demonstrated a multilevel protecting and neutralising effect against oxidative stress in PNT2.