Quercetin and myricetin protect against hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage (strand breaks and oxidised pyrimidines) in human lymphocytes

S J Duthie, A R Collins, G G Duthie, V L Dobson

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214 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin, and the antihepatotoxic agent silymarin, on hydrogen peroxide-mediated DNA damage in human lymphocytes were determined using alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay). Treatment with hydrogen peroxide increased the levels of DNA strand breaks and oxidised pyrimidine bases in these cells. Quercetin was protective at concentrations above 10 mu M and myricetin decreased oxidant-induced DNA strand breakage at concentrations of 100 mu M Cellular metabolism may alter the antioxidant efficacy of the flavonoids. Silymarin had no protective effect at any of the concentrations tested. None of these flavonoids was itself genotoxic. Neither alpha-tocopherol nor beta-carotene decreased hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA breakage. The differences in effectiveness of these dietary compounds against oxidative DNA damage may be explained by differences in their chemical structure or location within the cell. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research. Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 1997


  • flavonoid
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • cytoprotection
  • diet
  • comet assay
  • human
  • lymphocyte
  • potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids
  • induced lipid-peroxidation
  • human-disease
  • human-cells
  • antioxidant
  • cancer
  • silymarin
  • oxygen
  • risk
  • repair
  • lymphocyte

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