Indexed on: 27 Apr '10Published on: 27 Apr '10Published in: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP), an analogue of tryptophan, is a precursor of serotonin that also has effective antioxidative and anti-apoptotic properties (1) . However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these properties of 5HTP have not been explored. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that 5HTP exerts its antioxidative action against oxidative stress and inflammation by suppressing the activation of the key pro-inflammatory transcriptional pathways, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). The study was carried out using human fibroblast cells that were challenged by tert-butylhydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced oxidative damage. Results show that 5HTP significantly reduced t-BHP-induced oxidative damage in human fibroblast cells, as determined by cell cytotoxicity, intracellular reactive species (RS) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) generation, and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. Moreover, 5HTP protected human fibroblast cells against t-BHP-induced oxidative DNA damage, as determined by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenlylindole (DAPI) staining. Pretreatment of human fibroblast cells with 5HTP also dose-dependently inhibited glutathione (GSH) depletion, indicating that it protects cells against t-BHP-induced oxidative damage. Western blot analysis revealed that 5HTP also markedly increased Bcl-2 expression and suppressed both p38MAPK and NF-kappaB activation in the t-BHP-treated human fibroblast cells. When these results are taken together, they strongly indicate that 5HTP has beneficial and protective effects against t-BHP-induced cell death in vitro, as demonstrated by its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory actions. Data further showed that the protective mechanisms underlying the actions of 5HTP against oxidative stress-induced damage are associated with RS/ONOO(-) scavenging and the inhibition of lipid peroxidation and GSH depletion.