In the present study, we investigated the potential protective effects of three flavonoids (myricetin, myricitrin and rutin) derived from medicinal plants against methyl mercury (MeHg)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro. Incubation of mouse brain mitochondria with MeHg induced a significant decrease in mitochondrial function, which was correlated with decreased glutathione (GSH) levels and increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation. The co-incubation of mouse brain mitochondria with myricetin or myricitrin caused a concentration-dependent decrease of MeHg-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. The flavonoid rutin was ineffective in counteracting MeHg toxicity. Among the three tested flavonoids, myricetin was the most efficient in protecting against MeHg-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, myricetin completely blocked MeHg-induced ROS formation and lipid peroxidation and partially prevented MeHg-induced GSH depletion. The ability of myricetin to attenuate MeHg-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress appears to be related to its higher scavenging capability when compared to myricitrin and rutin. Overall, the results suggest that MeHg-induced mitotoxicity is associated with oxidative stress. The ability of myricetin to prevent MeHg-induced oxidative damage in brain mitochondria renders this flavonoid a promising molecule for further in vivo studies in the search for potential antidotes to counteract MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis