Antioxidants May Protect Cancer Cells from Apoptosis Signals and Enhance Cell Viability

Akan Z., Garip A. I.

ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, vol.14, no.8, pp.4611-4614, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.8.4611
  • Page Numbers: pp.4611-4614


Quercetin is one of the most abundant dietary flavonoids widely present in many fruits and vegetables. Previous in vitro studies has shown that quercetin acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and it has potent anticarcinogenic properties as an apoptosis inducer. In this study we examined apoptotic effects of quercetin on the K562 erythroleukemia cell line. K562 cells were induced to undergo apoptosis by hydrogen peroxide. Cell viability and apoptosis level were assessed by annexin V and PI staining methods using flow cytometry. Viability of K562 cells was increased by low dose of quercetin (5-100 mu M) for 3 hours. High doses of quercetin proved toxic (100-500 mu M, 24 hours) and resulted in decrease of K562 cell viability as expected (p<0.01). As to results, 100 mu M quercetin was defined as a protective dose. Also, K562 cell apoptosis due to hydrogen peroxide was decreased in a dose dependent manner. As indicated in previous studies, reduction of superoxides by free radical scavengers like quercetin could be beneficial for prevention of cancer but consumption of such flavonoids during cancer treatment may weaken effects of chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy. Especially cancer patients should be carefully considered for traditional phytotherapy during cancer treatment, which can lead to controversial results.