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Modification of the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay to study phenolic antioxidants in a Caco-2 cell line

Kellett, Mary E., Greenspan, Phillip, Pegg, Ronald B.
Food chemistry 2018 v.244 pp. 359-363
antioxidant activity, antioxidants, fluorescence, foods, human cell lines, in vitro studies, phenolic compounds, physiological transport, quercetin
In vitro assays are widely used to analyze the antioxidant potential of compounds, but they cannot accurately predict antioxidant behavior in living systems. Cell-based assays, like the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay, are gaining importance as they provide a biological perspective. When the CAA assay was employed to study phenolic antioxidants using hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells, quercetin showed antioxidant activity in HepG2 cells; 25 and 250μM quercetin reduced fluorescence by 17.1±0.9% and 58.6±2.4%, respectively. (+)-Catechin, a phenolic antioxidant present in many foods, bestowed virtually no CAA in HepG2 cells. When Caco-2 cells were employed, more robust antioxidant activity was observed; 50μM (+)-catechin and quercetin reduced fluorescence by 54.1±1.4% and 63.6±0.9%, respectively. Based on these results, likely due to differences in active membrane transport between the cell types, the Caco-2-based CAA assay appears to be a more appropriate method for the study of certain dietary phenolics.