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"Pelargonidin Modulates Keap1/Nrf2 Pathway Gene Expression and Ameliorates Citrinin-Induced Oxidative Stress in HepG2 Cells"

Updated: Apr 27

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"Pelargonidin chloride (PC) is one of the major anthocyanin found in berries, radish and other natural foods. Many natural chemopreventive compounds have been shown to be potent inducers of phase II detoxification genes and its up-regulation is important for oxidative stress related disorders. In the present study, we investigated the effect of PC in ameliorating citrinin (CTN) induced cytotoxicity and oxidative stress. The cytotoxicity of CTN was evaluated by treating HepG2 (Human hepatocellular carcinoma) cells with CTN (0–150 μM) in a dose dependent manner for 24 h, and the IC50 was determined to be 96.16 μM. CTN increased lactate dehydrogenase leakage (59%), elevated reactive oxygen species (2.5-fold), depolarized mitochondrial membrane potential as confirmed by JC-1 monomers and arrested cell cycle at G2/M phase. Further, apoptotic and necrotic analysis revealed significant changes followed by DNA damage. To overcome these toxicological effects, PC was pretreated for 2 h followed by CTN exposure for 24 h. Pretreatment with PC resulted in significant increase in cell viability (84.5%), restored membrane integrity, reactive oxygen species level were maintained and cell cycle phases were normal. PC significantly up-regulated the activity of detoxification enzymes: heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), glutathione transferase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and quinone reductase. Nrf2 translocation into the nucleus was also observed by immunocytochemistry analysis. These data demonstrate the protective effect of PC against CTN-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells and up-regulated the activity of detoxification enzyme levels through Keap1/Nrf2 signaling pathway."


"Pelargonidin can be found in berries such as ripe raspberries and strawberries, as well as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries but also in saskatoon berries and chokeberries. It is also found in plums and pomegranates. Pelargonidin gives red radishes their color. It is present in large amounts in kidney beans."[5]


"Pelargonidin improves memory deficit in amyloid β25-35 rat model of Alzheimer's disease by inhibition of glial activation, cholinesterase, and oxidative stress."[2]

"Involved in pharmacological studies investigating the use of flavonoids as inhibitors of CD38



Antioxidant and anthocyanidin:


  • Found in various natural sources evaluated for inhibitory effects on colon and liver cancer cells

  • Used as hyroperoxide and hydrogen peroxide scavenging substance

  • Used to study relationship between structure, antioxidant capacity and redox potentials

  • Studied to determine the mechanism of radical-scavenging""


"Pelargonidin chloride is a scavenger of nitric oxide radical and has antioxidant activities." It is found in red berries like strawberries and radishes.


"It can be concluded that malvidin (think Bilberry and Blueberry) and its glycosides possess significant anticancer, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, and neuroprotective properties due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action. Various studies, including in vitro and in vivo, suggest that these molecules have the potential to counteract the onset and progression of several disease pathologies, in particular, with pathogenesis related to oxidative stress. Therefore, besides their colorant capacity, malvidin and its glycosides may have a wide range of health-promoting properties. However, further research is needed to fully understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects and to explore potential new applications for these compounds. In addition, more detailed assessments of the efficacy of anthocyanin-rich products are required to support the development of new functional foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals. Overall, continued investigation into the biological activities of anthocyanins is essential for the development of novel therapeutic approaches and the promotion of public health."



  1. Pelargonidin Modulates Keap1/Nrf2 Pathway Gene Expression and Ameliorates Citrinin-Induced Oxidative Stress in HepG2 Cells. By G. R. Sharath Babu1 Front. Pharmacol., 26 November 2017. Sec. Experimental Pharmacology and Drug Discovery Volume 8 - 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00868

  2. Food Anthocyanins: Malvidin and Its Glycosides as Promising Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Agents with Potential Health Benefits. By Anna Merecz-Sadowska. Nutrients. 2023 Jul; 15(13): 3016. Published online 2023 Jul 1. doi: 10.3390/nu15133016 PMCID: PMC10346481. PMID: 37447342

  3. Pelargonidin reduces the TPA induced transformation of mouse epidermal cells –potential involvement of Nrf2 promoter demethylation. By Li, et. al. Chem Biol Interact. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2020 Aug 25. Chem Biol Interact. 2019 Aug 25; 309: 108701. Published online 2019 Jun 7. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2019.06.014 PMCID: PMC6679730. NIHMSID: NIHMS1532450. PMID: 31181187

  4. Anthocyanins: A Comprehensive Review of Their Chemical Properties and Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases. By Roberto Mattioli . Molecules. 2020 Sep; 25(17): 3809. Published online 2020 Aug 21. doi: 10.3390/molecules25173809 PMCID: PMC7504512. PMID: 32825684

  5. Wikepedia



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