Evaluation of the antigenotoxic potential of monomeric and dimeric flavanols, and black tea polyphenols against heterocyclic amine-induced DNA damage in human lymphocytes using the Comet assay

Alok Dhawan, Diana Anderson, Sonia de Pascual-Teresa, Celestino Santos-Buelga, Michael N Clifford, Costas Ioannides
Mutation Research 2002 March 25, 515 (1): 39-56
The polyphenolic dimers, epicatechin-4beta-8-catechin (B1), epicatechin-4beta-8-epicatechin (B2), catechin-4beta-8-catechin (B3), catechin-4beta-8-epicatechin (B4), and the gallate ester epicatechin-4beta-8-epicatechin gallate (B'2G) were isolated from grape seeds, and theaflavins and theafulvins from black tea brews. The ability of these naturally-occurring polyphenols to afford protection against the genotoxicity of the heterocyclic amine 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-2) was compared with that of the monomeric tea flavanols, (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Genotoxic activity was evaluated in human peripheral lymphocytes using the Comet assay. At the concentration range of 1-100 microM, neither the monomeric nor the dimeric flavanols prevented the lymphocyte DNA damage induced by Trp-P-2. In contrast, both of the black tea polyphenols, theafulvins and theaflavins, at a dose range of 0.1-0.5 mg/ml, prevented, in a concentration-dependent manner, the DNA damage elicited by Trp-P-2. Finally, neither the monomeric and dimeric polyphenols (100 microM) nor the theafulvins and theaflavins (0.5mg/ml) caused any DNA damage in the human lymphocytes. These studies illustrate that black tea theafulvins and theaflavins, if absorbed intact, may contribute to the anticarcinogenic potential associated with black tea intake.

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