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Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1356; doi:10.3390/nu9121356

Evaluation of the Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Flavonolignans in Different Cellular Models

1
Department of General Biochemistry, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland
2
Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Pomorska 141/143, 90-236 Lodz, Poland
3
Department of Biology and Pharmaceutical Botany, Medical University of Lodz, Muszynskiego 1, 90-151 Lodz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Polyphenol-Rich Foods on Human Health)
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Abstract

Flavonolignans are the main components of silymarin, which represents 1.5–3% of the dry fruit weight of Milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaernt.). In ancient Greece and Romania, physicians and herbalists used the Silybum marianum to treat a range of liver diseases. Besides their hepatoprotective action, silymarin flavonolignans have many other healthy properties, such as anti-platelet and anti-inflammatory actions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effect of flavonolignans on blood platelets, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and human lung cancer cell line—A549—using different molecular techniques. We established that three major flavonolignans: silybin, silychristin and silydianin, in concentrations of up to 100 µM, have neither a cytotoxic nor genotoxic effect on blood platelets, PMBCs and A549. We also saw that silybin and silychristin have a protective effect on cellular mitochondria, observed as a reduction of spontaneous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage in A549, measured as mtDNA copies, and mtDNA lesions in ND1 and ND5 genes. Additionally, we observed that flavonolignans increase the blood platelets’ mitochondrial membrane potential and reduce the generation of reactive oxygen species in blood platelets. Our current findings show for the first time that the three major flavonolignans, silybin, silychristin and silydianin, do not have any cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in various cellular models, and that they actually protect cellular mitochondria. This proves that the antiplatelet and anti-inflammatory effect of these compounds is part of our molecular health mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavonolignans; silybin; silychristin; silydianin; blood platelets; mitochondria; ROS; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity flavonolignans; silybin; silychristin; silydianin; blood platelets; mitochondria; ROS; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity
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Bijak, M.; Synowiec, E.; Sitarek, P.; Sliwiński, T.; Saluk-Bijak, J. Evaluation of the Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Flavonolignans in Different Cellular Models. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1356.

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