The aim of this work was to examine the mechanisms involved in the in vivo antioxidant effects of epicatechin (EC), a major flavonoid in the human diet. The influence of EC in different oxidative biomarkers (reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, intracellular glutathione, activity of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) was studied in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Under thermal stress condition, exposure of the worms (wild type N2 strains) to EC (200 μM) significantly reduced ROS levels (up to 28%) and enhanced the production of reduced glutathione (GSH). However, no significant changes were appreciated in the activities of GPx, CAT, and SOD, suggesting that further activation of these antioxidant enzymes was not required once the concentration of ROS in the EC-treated worms was restored to what could be considered physiological levels.
- Caenorhabditis elegans