Differential modulation of growth and glutathione metabolism in cultured rat astrocytes by 4-hydroxynonenal and green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate

I. Ahmed, A. John, C. Vijayasarathy, M. A. Robin, H. Raza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer and prominent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Apoptosis and cell cycle deregulation appear to be the mode of cell death in these disorders. Green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been shown to be a potent antiinflammatory, apoptotic and cancer chemopreventive agent. 4-Hydroxynonenal (HNE), a by-product of lipid peroxidation (LPO), has been reported to induce apoptosis and inhibit growth in many cell systems including neuroglial cultures. We have studied both the dose and time dependent effects of HNE and EGCG on the viability of primary astrocyte cell cultures prepared from neonatal rats. HNE was found to be cytotoxic at a higher dose (0.1 mM) and markedly reduced (up to 80%) the astrocyte viability while EGCG did not appear to be cytotoxic under similar conditions. In addition, we have also studied the alterations in glutathione (GSH) and LPO levels and the activities of GSH metabolizing enzymes after treatment with HNE and EGCG. A 40% decrease in GSH level and a moderate increase in LPO were observed in HNE treated cells suggesting an increase in oxidative stress. HNE treatment caused a 50% decrease in GSH reductase and a 35% increase in GSH peroxidase activities. Although HNE treatment did not lead to any significant alterations in GSH-S-transferase (GST) activity, an increased expression of GST isoenzymes was seen following the exposure to HNE. EGCG treatment caused a significant increase in LPO even in the presence of elevated GSH content. In contrast to HNE, EGCG treatment resulted in a significant decrease (50%) in the activity and expression of GSTs. Treatment of astrocyte cultures with HNE, resulted in a severe impairment in mitochondrial respiration as measured by MTT exclusion assay, while treatment with EGCG had no effect on mitochondrial respiratory activity. Both HNE and EGCG were found to initiate apoptosis in astrocytes as measured by DNA fragmentation assay. However, HNE seems to be a stronger apoptotic and cytotoxic agent than EGCG. These results suggest that HNE and EGCG differentially modulate oxidative stress and regulate the growth and survival of astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


  • 4-HNE
  • Apoptosis
  • Astrocytes
  • EGCG
  • Glutathione
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Tea polyphenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Toxicology


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