Antioxidant and iron-chelating activities of the flavonoids catechin, quercetin and diosmetin on iron-loaded rat hepatocyte cultures

Biochem Pharmacol. 1993 Jan 7;45(1):13-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(93)90371-3.


The cytoprotective effect of three flavonoids, catechin, quercetin and diosmetin, was investigated on iron-loaded hepatocyte cultures, considering two parameters: the prevention of iron-increased lipid peroxidation and the inhibition of intracellular enzyme release. These two criteria of cytoprotection allowed the calculation of mean inhibitory concentrations (IC50) which revealed that the effectiveness of these flavonoids could be classified as follows: catechin > quercetin > diosmetin. These IC50 values have been related to structural characteristics of the flavonoids tested. Moreover, the investigation of the capacity of these flavonoids to remove iron from iron-loaded hepatocytes revealed a good relationship between this iron-chelating ability and the cytoprotective effect. The cytoprotective activity of catechin, quercetin and diosmetin could thus be ascribed to their widely known antiradical property but also to their iron-chelating effectiveness. These findings increase further the prospects for the development and clinical application of these potent antioxidants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron / pharmacology
  • Iron Chelating Agents / pharmacology*
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / analysis
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Catechin
  • Quercetin
  • Iron
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • diosmetin