Lycopene prevents 7-ketocholesterol-induced oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human macrophages

Paola Palozza, Rossella Emanuela Simone, Assunta Catalano, Alma Boninsegna, Volker Boehm, Kati Frohlich, Maria Cristina Mele, Giovanni Monego, Franco Oreste Ranelletti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

68 Citazioni (Scopus)


The present study was undertaken to examine whether lycopene is able to counteract 7-ketocholesterol (7-KC)-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in human macrophages. Human THP-1 macrophages were exposed to 7-KC (10-25 microM) alone and in combination with lycopene (0.5-2 microM), and we monitored changes in cell oxidative status [reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, NOX-4, hsp70 and hsp90 expressions, 8-OHdG formation] and in cell proliferation and apoptosis. After 24 h of treatment, lycopene significantly reduced the increase in ROS production and in 8-OHdG formation induced by the oxysterol in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the carotenoid strongly prevented the increase of NOX-4, hsp70 and hsp90 expressions as well as the phosphorylation of the redox-sensitive p38, JNK and ERK1/2 induced by the oxysterol. The attenuation of 7-KC-induced oxidative stress by lycopene coincided with a normalization of cell growth in human macrophages. Lycopene prevented the arrest in G0/G1 phase of cell cycle induced by the oxysterol and counteracted the increased expression of p53 and p21. Concomitantly, it inhibited 7-KC-induced apoptosis, by limiting caspase-3 activation and the modulatory effects of 7-KC on AKT, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Bax. Comparing the effects of lycopene, beta-carotene and (5Z)-lycopene on ROS production, cell growth and apoptosis show that lycopene and its isomer were more effective than beta-carotene in counteracting the dangerous effects of 7-KC in human macrophages. Our study suggests that lycopene may act as a potential antiatherogenic agent by preventing 7-KC-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in human macrophages
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)34-46
Numero di pagine13
RivistaJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • 7-ketocholesterol
  • Lycopene
  • Oxidative stress
  • apoptosis
  • cell cycle


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