Author(s): RuizLarrea MB, Martn C, Martnez R, Navarro R, Lacort M,
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Abstract Natural estrogens have much greater radical-scavenging antioxidant activity than has previously been demonstrated, with activities up to 2.5 times those of vitamin C and vitamin E. The biological significance of this finding remains to be elucidated. In this work the antioxidant activity of a range of estrogens (phenolic, catecholic and stilbene-derived) has been studied. The activity of these substances as hydrogen-donating scavengers of free radicals in an aqueous solution has been determined by monitoring their relative abilities to quench the chromogenic radical cation 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS*+). The results show that the order of reactivity in scavenging this radical in the aqueous phase is dependent on the precise estrogenic structure, with phenolic estrogens being more potent antioxidants than catecholestrogens or diethylstilbestrol. The ability of the same estrogens to scavenge lipid phase radicals has also been assessed, determined by the ex vivo enhancement of the resistance of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation; the order of efficacy is different from that in the aqueous phase, with the phenolic estrogens estriol, estrone and 17beta-estradiol being less potent than 2-hydroxyestradiol, 4-hydroxyestradiol, or diethylstilbestrol. In this lipid-based system, phenolic estrogens were found to be unable to regenerate alpha-tocopherol from LDL subjected to oxidative stress, while at the same time 2- and 4-hydroxyestradiol significantly delayed alpha-tocopherol loss. These results indicate that the various estrogens are good scavengers of free radicals generated in both the aqueous and the lipophilic phases. The antioxidant activity of an estrogen depends not only on the hydrophilic or lipophilic nature of the scavenged radical, but also on the phenol and catechol structures of the estrogen compound.
This article was published in Chem Phys Lipids
and referenced in Translational Medicine