Preventive activity of olive oil phenolic compounds on alkene epoxides induced oxidative DNA damage on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(8):1322-30. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.956251. Epub 2014 Oct 9.


The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of epoxides of styrene (styrene-7,8-oxide; SO) and 1,3-butadiene (3,4-epoxy-1-butene; 1,2:3,4:-diepoxybutane) to cause oxidative stress and oxidative DNA damage on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and whether a complex mixture of olive oil phenols (OOPE) could prevent these effects. The DNA damage was measured by the single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE; comet assay). We found that the DNA damage induced by alkene epoxides could be prevented by N-acetyl-cysteine (10 mM) and catalase (100 U/ml). Alkene epoxides caused a significant (P < 0.05) increase of both peroxide concentration in extra- and intracellular environment and formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG)- and Endonuclease III (ENDO III)-sensitive sites in PBMCs, demonstrating the presence of oxidized bases. OOPE (1 μg of total phenols/ml) was able to prevent the alkene epoxide induced DNA damage both after 2 and 24 h of incubation. In addition, OOPE completely inhibited the SO-induced intracellular peroxide accumulation in PBMCs and prevented the oxidative DNA damage induced by SO, as evidenced by the disappearance of both FPG- and ENDO III-sensitive sites. This is the first study demonstrating the ability of OOPE to prevent the DNA damage induced by alkene epoxides providing additional information about the chemopreventive properties of olive oil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / metabolism
  • Butadienes / toxicity
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • DNA-Formamidopyrimidine Glycosylase / metabolism
  • Epoxy Compounds / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Olive Oil
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*


  • Butadienes
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols
  • Plant Oils
  • 3,4-epoxy-1-butene
  • diepoxybutane
  • Catalase
  • DNA-Formamidopyrimidine Glycosylase
  • 1,3-butadiene
  • Acetylcysteine