Author(s): Pollard SE, Whiteman M, Spencer JP
Peroxynitrite is thought to contribute to the progression of many diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. We report that pre-treatment of fibroblasts with the citrus flavanone, hesperetin, prior to peroxynitrite exposure protects against peroxynitrite-mediated cytotoxicity. This protection was partially mediated by the intracellular scavenging of peroxynitrite by hesperetin as exposure of fibroblasts to peroxynitrite following hesperetin loading led to the formation of two intracellular nitro-hesperetin derivatives. In addition, protection appeared to be mediated by hesperetin-induced changes in MAP kinase signalling. Exposure of fibroblasts to hesperetin led to concentration-dependent increases in the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and was observed to restore peroxynitrite-mediated decreases in ERK1/2 phosphorylation. We propose that the protective potential of hesperetin in fibroblasts may be mediated both by intracellular scavenging of peroxynitrite and by modulation of fibroblast signalling.