Artefacts in cell culture: pyruvate as a scavenger of hydrogen peroxide generated by ascorbate or epigallocatechin gallate in cell culture media

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Oct 30;388(4):700-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.069. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Ascorbate and several phenolic compounds readily oxidise in cell culture media to generate hydrogen peroxide. However, media containing pyruvate showed much less H(2)O(2) production, apparently because pyruvate can scavenge H(2)O(2) in the medium. Researchers must be aware that compounds under test can sometimes readily oxidise in cell culture media, that this might not be detected by measurement of H(2)O(2) if the media contain pyruvate, and that pyruvate can be substantially depleted in the media as a result.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts*
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / metabolism
  • Culture Media / metabolism*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Pyruvic Acid / metabolism*


  • Culture Media
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Pyruvic Acid
  • Catechin
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Ascorbic Acid