Previous studies showed that proanthocyanidins provide potent protection against oxidative stress. Here we investigate the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) as a novel natural antioxidant on the generation and fate of nitric oxide (NO) in rat primary glial cell cultures. GSPE treatment (50 mg/L) increased NO production (measured by NO(2-) assay) by stimulation of the inducible isoform of NOS. However, GSPE failed to affect the LPS/IFN-gamma-induced NO production or iNOS expression. Similar responses were found in the murine macrophage cell line RAW264.7. GSPE did not show any effect on dihydrodichlorofluorescein fluorescence (ROS marker with high sensitivity toward peroxynitrite) either in control or in LPS/IFN-gamma-induced glial cultures even in the presence of a superoxide generator (PMA). GSPE treatment alone had no effect on the basal glutathione (GSH) status in glial cultures. Whereas the microglial GSH level declined sharply after LPS/IFN-gamma treatment, the endogenous GSH pool was protected when such cultures were treated additionally with GSPE, although NO levels did not change. Glial cultures pretreated with GSPE showed higher tolerance toward application of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and tert-butylhydroperoxide. Furthermore, GSPE-pretreated glial cultures showed improved viability after H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative stress demonstrated by reduction in lactate dehydrogenase release or propidium iodide staining. We showed that, in addition to its antioxidative property, GSPE enhances low-level production of intracellular NO in primary rat astroglial cultures. Furthermore, GSPE pretreatment protects the microglial GSH pool during high output NO production and results in an elevation of the H(2)O(2) tolerance in astroglial cells.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.