Whey protein concentrate promotes the production of glutathione (GSH) by GSH reductase in the PC12 cell line after acute ethanol exposure

Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Apr;44(4):574-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2005.09.003. Epub 2005 Dec 19.


Excessive ethanol consumption may increase the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which results in the damage of tissues, especially the neurons and glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of whey protein concentrate (WPC) on the glutathione (GSH) status after acute ethanol exposure in the pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell line. In this study, we assayed the cell viability, the percentage of lactate dehydrogenase released (% LDH released), the level of GSH, and the activity of GSH reductase (GRx). The results showed that with the supplement of WPC, the cell viability displayed no significant difference after acute exposure of ethanol in groups with or without ethanol treatment. The ethanol-induced cytotoxicity showed a slight decrease ,and the level of GSH showed a significant increase. The activity of GRx significantly increased when 0.1, 10mg/ml of WPC was supplied. In conclusion, these results suggest that WPC in a moderate concentration should be a precursor agent to promote the production of GSH and will enhance the antioxidant capacity in the PC12 cell line.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Glutathione / drug effects*
  • Glutathione Reductase / drug effects
  • Milk Proteins / pharmacology*
  • PC12 Cells / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Whey Proteins


  • Antioxidants
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins
  • Ethanol
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione