Efficient protective activity of a planar catechin analogue against radiation-induced apoptosis in rat thymocytes†
About two thirds of biological damage due to low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation, such as X-rays and the plateau region of heavy-ion beams, is known to be caused by the hydroxyl radical (˙OH), the most powerful reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated via ionisation and excitation of water molecules. Thus, compounds having an efficient scavenging activity against ROS are expected to exhibit a radioprotective activity. A planar catechin analogue, where an isopropyl fragment was introduced into the catechol ring of (+)-catechin, showed an efficient protective effect against X-ray induced apoptosis in rat thymocytes compared to (+)-catechin. The planar catechin scavenged 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH˙) solubilised in water by β-cyclodextrin about 10-fold faster than (+)-catechin in phosphate buffer (0.1 M, pH 7.4) at 298 K. Furthermore, the experimental log P value of the planar catechin (1.22) is reported to be significantly larger than that of (+)-catechin (0.44). The higher radical-scavenging activity and lipophilicity of the planar catechin than those of (+)-catechin may contribute in part to the higher protective activity against X-ray-induced apoptosis in rat thymocytes.