Cancer and many chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The potential cellular and tissue damage created by ROS has significant impact on many disease and cancer states and natural therapeutics are becoming essential in regulating altered redox states. We have shown recently that iron content is a critical determinant in the antitumour activity of bovine milk lactoferrin (bLF). We found that 100% iron-saturated bLF (Fe-bLF) acts as a potent natural adjuvant and fortifying agent for augmenting cancer chemotherapy and thus has a broad utility in the treatment of cancer. Furthermore, we also studied the effects of iron saturated bLFs ability as an antioxidant in the human epithelial colon cancer cell line HT29, giving insights into the potential of bLF in its different states. Thus, metal saturated bLF could be implemented as anti-cancer neutraceutical. In this regard, we have recently been able to prepare a selenium (Se) saturated form of bLF, being up to 98% saturated. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine how oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) alters antioxidant enzyme activity within HT29 epithelial colon cancer cells, and observe changes in this activity by treatments with different antioxidants ascorbic acid (AA), Apo (iron free)-bLF and selenium (Se)-bLF. The states of all antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione- s-transferase (GsT), catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) demonstrated high levels within untreated HT29 cells compared to the majority of other treatments being used, even prior to H2O2 exposure. All enzymes showed significant alterations in activity when cells were treated with antioxidants AA, Apo-bLF or Se-bLF, with and/or without H2O2 exposure. Obvious indications that the Se content of the bLF potentially interacted with the glutathione (GSH)/GPx/GR/GsT associated redox system could be observed immediately, showing capability of Se-bLF being highly beneficial in helping to maintain a balance between the oxidant/antioxidant systems within cells and tissues, especially in selenium deficient systems. In conclusion, the antioxidative defence activity of Se-bLf, investigated in this study for the first time, shows dynamic adaptations that may allow for essential protection from the imbalanced oxidative conditions. Because of its lack of toxicity and the availability of both selenium and bLF in whole milk, Se-bLF offers a promise for a prospective natural dietary supplement, in addition to being an immune system enhancement, or a potential chemopreventive agent for cancers.
Keywords: Bovine lactoferrin, selenium, oxidative stress, selenium saturated lactoferrin, antioxidant enzymes, HT29 cells, toxicity, glutathione peroxidase, zinc superoxide dismutases (SOD), NADH
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