Effect of Lutein (Lute-gen®) on proliferation rate and telomere length in vitro and possible mechanism of action
S Mehkri, Diego Perez, Pilar Najarro, Menelaos Tsapekos, KN Bopanna
Background: Many studies have reported that lutein could exert its biological activities, including anti‑inflammation, anti‑oxidative and anti‑apoptosis, through its effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, lutein may prevent the damaging effect of ROS in cells. Telomere length is one of the most important biomarkers of aging. It is known that oxidative stress can accelerate telomere shortening, whereas antioxidants like lutein can delay their attrition through their antioxidant activity. Aim of the study: This study was conducted to assess the effect of Lute-gen® (Lutein) on telomere length and cellular proliferation rate in cultures of human adult primary fibroblast cells grow under standard or oxidative stress conditions. Method: The current study investigated the effect of Lute-gen® on telomere length. For this purpose, a primary cell line was treated with different concentrations of Lute-gen® (10; 5; 1 μg/ml) in the presence or absence of the pro-oxidant hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Different concentrations of lutein were included along with positive (H2O2) and negative (no treatment) controls. Determination of the telomere shortening rate along with the evaluation of the median telomere length, 20th percentile length and the percentage of telomeres below 3 kilo base pairs (Kbp) was performed using an optimized, analytically validated HT-Q-FISH methodology. Results: Lute-gen was observed to exert a significant protective effect on telomere length erosion in vitro under oxidative stress conditions after eight passages. Conclusions: Lute-gen’s effect on telomere attrition indicates that the antioxidant activity of lutein is beneficial and counteracts the effects of oxidation on telomeres in human primary cells. The results grant further investigation in vivo, on a controlled human clinical trial context. The use of in vitro modelling is beneficial to investigators developing natural products with anti-oxidant claims such as lutein and their effect on ageing.