Effects of SAC on oxidative stress and NO availability in placenta: potential benefits to preeclampsia

Placenta. 2012 Jun;33(6):487-94. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2012.02.015. Epub 2012 Mar 8.


Preeclampsia (PE) is a major cause of fetal growth restriction and perinatal mortality, which involves oxidative stress and vasodilator signaling disorder. S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) is one of the most abundant compounds in garlic extracts, and possesses several biological activities. This research was designed to investigate the protective effects of SAC against H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative insults, as well as the effects on NO/cGMP signaling pathway in placenta. We used TEV-1 cells and placental explants to detect the effects of SAC. TEV-1 cells and human placental explants were separately exposed to SAC, H(2)O(2), or a combination of H(2)O(2) and SAC. Intracellular ROS was detected by flow cytometry; the NO level was detected by an NO metabolites (NOx) assay; the cGMP level was simultaneously measured by the method of radioimmunoassay; the expression of eNOS in TEV-1 cells was measured by immunochemistry and Western blot. Our findings showed that H(2)O(2) treatment increased ROS productions in TEV-1 cells and significantly decreased cGMP and NO level either in TEV-1 cells or explants compared to the control groups (p < 0.05). The expression of eNOS in TEV-1 cells also significantly decreased in H(2)O(2) treated group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Co-treatment of H(2)O(2) and SAC significantly decreased ROS productions, and increased NO, cGMP and eNOS level compared to the H(2)O(2) treated alone groups (p < 0.05), which were all reverted back to near control levels. Further more, SAC treatment increased NO and cGMP level of TEV-1 cells and explants in a dose-dependent manner even at non-oxidative stress status (p < 0.05). However, when the TEV-1 cells were cultured in the presence of NOS inhibitor (L-NAME) and NO donor (SNP), additional SAC treatment still significantly increased the NO level in comparison with SAC non-treated group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results demonstrate that ROS (H(2)O(2)-mediated) can induce insults to NO/cGMP pathway, while SAC could antagonize this insult. And SAC also possesses the ability to increase NO and cGMP level at non-oxidative stress status in TEV-1 cells and placenta explants. SAC is therefore hypothesized to be a potential drug for PE treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cysteine / pharmacology
  • Cysteine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy


  • Nitric Oxide
  • S-allylcysteine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • NOS3 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Cysteine