This study quantifies the bioactive molecules in and determines the in vitro protective effect of ethanolic extracts isolated from the peel and pulp of tucumã (Astrocaryum aculeatum, Mart.), an Amazonian fruit rich in carotenoids. The cytoprotective effect of tucumã was evaluated in lymphocyte cultures exposed to H2O2 using spectrophotometric, fluorimetric, and immunoassay assays. The results confirmed that tucumã pulp extract is rich in β-carotene and quercetin, as previously described in the literature. However, high levels of these compounds were also found in tucumã peel extract. The extracts also contained significant amounts rutin, gallic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Despite quantitative differences in the concentration of these bioactive molecules, both extracts increased the viability of cells exposed to H2O2 in concentrations ranging from 300 to 900 μg/mL. Caspases 1, 3, and 8 decreased significantly in cells concomitantly exposed to H2O2 and these extracts, indicating that tucumã cryoprotection involves apoptosis modulation.
Keywords: Astrocaryum aculeatum; Carotenoids; DNA damage; Lymphocyte culture.
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