Dietary flavonoids modulate PCB-induced oxidative stress, CYP1A1 induction, and AhR-DNA binding activity in vascular endothelial cells

Pachaikani Ramadass, Purushothaman Meerarani, Michal Toborek, Larry W. Robertson, Bernhard Hennig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), especially the more coplanar PCBs, have been shown to induce oxidative stress, various transcription factors, and subsequent inflammatory processes critical to atherosclerosis in vascular endothelial cells. Dietary flavonoids such as catechins and quercetin possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To test the hypothesis that flavonoids can modify PCB-mediated endothelial cytotoxicity, endothelial cells were treated with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG; 5 to 50 μM) or quercetin (10 to 100 μM) with or without PCB 77 (3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl, 3.4 μM) for 6 h. EGCG and quercetin strongly, and in a concentration-dependent manner, inhibited oxidative stress induced by PCB 77 as measured by DCF fluorescence. The role of cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) in the PCB-induced toxicity was investigated. EGCG at 50 μM and quercetin at 100 μM concentrations markedly inhibited CYP1A1 mRNA levels and enzyme activity. Furthermore, EGCG and quercetin downregulated the PCB 77-mediated increase in aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-DNA binding activity. These data suggest that protective effects of EGCG and quercetin are initiated upstream from CYP1A1 and that these flavonoids may be of value for inhibiting the toxic effects of PCBs on vascular endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • AhR
  • CYP1A1
  • Flavonoids
  • Oxidative stress
  • PCB
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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