Tea catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and other polyphenols, such as theaflavins (TFs), are increasingly proving useful as chemopreventives in a number of human cancers. They can also affect normal cells. The polyphenols in tea are known to have antioxidant properties that can quench free radical species, and pro-oxidant activities that appear to be responsible for the induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. The bioavailability of these natural compounds is an important factor that determines their efficacy. Nanoparticle (NP)-mediated delivery techniques of EGCG and TFs have been found to improve their bioavailability to a level that could benefit their effectiveness as chemopreventives.Aim:
The present study was conducted to compare the effects of TFs and EGCG, when used in the bulk form and in the polymer (poly[lactic-co-glycolic acid])-based NP form, in oxaliplatin- and satraplatin-treated lymphocytes as surrogate cells from colorectal cancer patients and healthy volunteers.Materials & methods:
NPs were examined for their size distribution, surface morphology, entrapment efficiency and release profile. Lymphocytes were treated in the Comet assay with oxaliplatin and satraplatin, washed and treated with bulk or NP forms of tea phenols, washed and then treated with hydrogen peroxide to determine single-strand breaks after crosslinking.Results:
The results of DNA damage measurements by the Comet assay revealed opposite trends in bulk and NP forms of TFs, as well as EGCG. Both the compounds in the bulk form produced statistically significant concentration-dependent reductions in DNA damage in oxaliplatin- or satraplatin-treated lymphocytes. In contrast, when used in the NP form both TFs and EGCG, although initially causing a reduction, produced a concentration-dependent statistically significant increase in DNA damage in the lymphocytes. Discussion: These observations support the notion that TFs and EGCG act as both antioxidants and pro-oxidants, depending on the form in which they are administered under the conditions of investigation.