Protective Effects of Tea Polyphenols against Oxidative Damage to Red Blood Cells


Grinberg LN




Biochem Pharmacol


Tea polyphenols (TPP) from black and green teas were evaluated for their antioxidant effects on normal red blood cells (RBC) and beta-thalassemic RBC membranes challenged with exogenous oxidants in vitro. The TPP of both types protected RBC against primaquine-induced lysis; they also protected the whole cells and the membranes against H2O2-induced lipid peroxidation so that about 80% protection was reached at [TPP] = 10 microg/mL. TPP from black tea at the same concentration protected normal RBC from morphological alterations caused by the peroxide treatment. The mechanism of the effects of TPP was investigated using a chemical system generating .OH (iron + ascorbic acid). TPP from both black and green teas inhibited the .OH fluxes in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating the possibility of iron chelation by TPP. Spectrophotometric titration revealed that TPP could stoichiometrically bind ferric iron to form a redox-inactive Fe-TPP complex. Quantitative analysis suggests that one or more major catechins from the TPP preparations are the likely iron-binding compounds accounting for the antioxidant effects of TPP on RBC.