Effects of catechins on superoxide and hydroxyl radical

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1999 Feb;47(2):279-83. doi: 10.1248/cpb.47.279.


Superoxide (O2-.) was reduced by the addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD: O2-. scavenger) and catechins. In competitive reactions utilizing different concentrations of spin-trap agent, the IC50 values of each sample were changed. With regard to the Cu2+/H2O2 and Fe2+/H2O2 reaction systems, metal chelater, hydroxyl radical (.OH) scavenger and catechins eliminated the levels of .OH. For the Cu2+/H2O2 reaction systems, the IC50 for .OH scavenger changed, but that for metal chelater and catechins did not. However, for the Fe2+/H2O2 reaction system, the IC50 for .OH scavenger and catechins changed, whereas that for metal chelater did not. The ESR signal for free Cu2+ was changed by addition of metal chelater and catechins. In the spectrophotometer experiments, it was confirmed that the CuCl2 spectrum was changed by addition of metal chelater and catechins but not by .OH scavenger. Conversely, the FeSO4 spectrum was not changed by addition of .OH scavenger or catechins, but was altered by metal chelater. Lipid peroxidation was inhibited by catechins in a concentration-dependent manner. Therefore, it was suggested that the catechins did not scavenge directly the generated .OH from the Cu2+/H2O2 reaction system, but inhibited the generation of .OH by acting on the Cu2+/H2O2 reaction system. On the other hand, with respect to the .OH generated from the Fe2+/H2O2 reaction system, it was suggested that the catechins had a direct scavenging capacity of the .OH, but had little chelating activity of iron. It was confirmed that catechins have the ability to scavenge for O2-. as well as .OH and to inhibit the generation of .OH by chelation with metal ions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Copper / chemistry
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / drug effects
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Spin Trapping
  • Superoxides / metabolism*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Superoxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Copper
  • Catechin
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron