Impact of rapeseed pomace extract on markers of oxidative stress and DNA damage in human SH-SY5Y cells

Franziska Pohl, Marie Goua, Kyari Yates, Giovanna Bermano, Wendy R. Russell, Patrícia Maciel, Paul Kong Thoo Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With increased longevity and subsequent rise in people with age-related neurodegenerative diseases, protection of neurons from oxidative stress damage has become an important field of study. For the first time, we highlight the neuroprotective properties of rapeseed pomace (RSP) extract in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. We used resazurin to determine cell metabolism, 2,7’-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (H2DCFDA) to assess the potential of RSP extracts to shield cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by H2O2 using flow cytometry, HPLC to analyze for malondialdehyde (MDA) as a lipid peroxidation marker and the COMET assay to assess DNA strand breakage. Protein stress arrays were used to investigate the cellular pathways affected by RSP extract. No effect on cell metabolism in SH-SY5Y cells was observed after RSP extract treatment (up to 1.5 mg/ml). Pretreatment (24 hr) with RSP extract (1 mg/ml), before H2O2-induced stress, alleviated ROS production and DNA strand breakage by 68%, and 38%, respectively. At protein level, the RSP extract increased the levels of FABP-1, HIF-1α, SOD2, and Cytochrome c proteins. Under H2O2-induced stress, however, it helped to downregulate p38α levels, a protein kinase which is receptive to stress impulse (mitogen-activated). RSP extract shows very promising cell protective properties in relation to oxidative stress. Practical applications: Oxidative stress has been associated with numerous diseases for example cancer, diabetes, and many neurological disorders including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Hence, there is acceptance among the scientific community of antioxidant therapy and the quest for effective, low cost and readily available sources of natural antioxidants is paramount. Rapeseed plantations are abundant around the world due to the use of rapeseed oil in cooking and as a biofuel. The resulting rapeseed pomace (by-product), specifically its extract, contains high levels of phytochemicals that protect cells against oxidative stress. Therefore, RSP extract can potentially be used/developed as functional food and nutraceuticals in the prevention of many complex neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13592
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Food Biochemistry
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021


  • comet assay
  • cytoprotection
  • plant extract
  • rapeseed
  • ROS
  • SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells


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