Lycopene protects human SH‑SY5Y neuroblastoma cells against hydrogen peroxide‑induced death via inhibition of oxidative stress and mitochondria‑associated apoptotic pathways.
Mol Med Rep. 2016 May ;13(5):4205-14. Epub 2016 Mar 28. PMID: 27035331
Oxidative stress, which is characterized by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), is a common pathway that results in neuronal injury or death due to various types of pathological stress. Although lycopene has been identified as a potent antioxidant, its effect on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)‑induced neuronal damage remains unclear. In the present study, pretreatment with lycopene was observed to protect SH‑SY5Y neuroblastoma cells against H2O2‑induced death via inhibition of apoptosis resulting from activation of caspase‑3 and translocation of apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) tothe nucleus. Furthermore, the over‑produced ROS, as well as the reduced activities of anti‑oxidative enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, were demonstrated to be alleviated by lycopene. Additionally, lycopene counteracted H2O2‑induced mitochondrial dysfunction, which was evidenced by suppression of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, attenuation of the decline of the mitochondrial membrane potential, and inhibition of the increase of Bax and decrease of Bcl‑2 levels within the mitochondria. The release of cytochrome c and AIF from the mitochondria was also reduced. These results indicate that lycopene is a potent neuroprotectant against apoptosis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, and could be administered to prevent neuronal injury or death.