Magalingam, Kasthuri Bai, et al. “Unravelling the neuroprotective mechanisms of carotenes in differentiated human neural cells: Biochemical and proteomic approaches.” Food Chemistry: Molecular Sciences 4 (2022): 100088. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fochms.2022.100088
Carotenoids, fat-soluble pigments found ubiquitously in plants and fruits, have been reported to exert significant neuroprotective effects against free radicals. However, the neuroprotective effects of total mixed carotenes complex (TMC) derived from virgin crude palm oil have not been studied extensively. Therefore, the present study was designed to establish the neuroprotective role of TMC on differentiated human neural cells against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced cytotoxicity. The human neural cells were differentiated using retinoic acid for six days. Then, the differentiated neural cells were pre-treated for 24 hr with TMC before exposure to 6-OHDA. TMC pre-treated neurons showed significant alleviation of 6-OHDA-induced cytotoxicity as evidenced by enhanced activity of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes. Furthermore, TMC elevated the levels of intra-neuronal dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in differentiated neural cells. The 6-OHDA induced overexpression of α-synuclein was significantly hindered in neural cells pre-treated with TMC. In proteomic analysis, TMC altered the expression of ribosomal proteins, α/β isotypes of tubulins, protein disulphide isomerases (PDI) and heat shock proteins (HSP) in differentiated human neural cells. The natural palm phytonutrient TMC is a potent antioxidant with significant neuroprotective effects against free radical-induced oxidative stress.