Phase II enzyme induction by a carotenoid, lutein, in a PC12D neuronal cell line

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 Apr 4;446(2):535-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.02.135. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


The mechanism by which lutein, a carotenoid, acts as an antioxidant in retinal cells is still not fully understood. Here, lutein treatment of a neuronal cell line (PC12D) immediately resulted in reduced intracellular ROS levels, implying that it has a direct role in ROS scavenging. Significantly, lutein treatment also induced phase II antioxidative enzyme expression, probably via a nuclear factor-like 2 (Nrf2) independent pathway. This latter mechanism could explain why lutein acts diversely to protect against oxidative/cytotoxic stress, and why it is physiologically involved in the human neural tissue, such as the retina.

Keywords: Antioxidant enzymes; Lutein; Nrf2; PC12D; Reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / pharmacology*
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / enzymology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*


  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Carotenoids
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Lutein