British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Protective effect of cyanidin 3-O-β-d-glucoside on ochratoxin A-mediated damage in the rat

Claudia Di Giacomoa1, Rosaria Acquavivaa1, Andrea Pivaa2, Valeria Sorrentia1, Luca Vanellaa1, Gianfranco Pivaa3, Gabriele Casadeia2, Luca La Faucia4, Alberto Ritienia5, Matteo Bognannoa4, Laura Di Renzoa6, Maria L. Barcellonaa1, Mauro Morlacchinia7 and Fabio Galvanoa4 c1

a1 Department of Biochemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Vle A. Doria 6, 95100 Catania, Italy

a2 DIMORFIPA, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Bologna, Italy

a3 ISAN, Sacred Heart Catholic University of Piacenza, 29100 Piacenza, Italy

a4 STAFA Department, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, P.zza S. Francesco 7, 89061 Reggio Calabria, Italy

a5 Department of Food Science, ‘Federico II’ University, 80055 Portici, Italy

a6 Department of Neuroscience, ‘Tor Vergata’ University, Rome, Italy

a7 CERZOO S. Bonico, 29100 Piacenza, Italy


The aim of the present study was to verify whether the oral administration of cyanidin 3-O-β-d-glucoside (C3G) might counteract damage induced by chronic exposure (28 d) to ochratoxin A (OTA) in rats and if its effect may be mediated by haeme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Forty male Sprague–Dawley rats, individually caged, were divided into four groups of ten animals. A control group received a commercial diet, group C3G received the control diet supplemented with C3G (1 g/kg feed), group OTA received the control diet supplemented with 200 parts per billion of OTA, and group OTA+C3G received the OTA group diet supplemented with C3G (1 g/kg feed). After 4 weeks of treatment animals were killed and the liver, kidneys and brain of each rat were collected and homogenised to evaluate non-proteic thiol groups (RSH), lipid hydroperoxide (LOOH) levels, HO-1 expression and DNA fragmentation. Rats of the OTA group showed a significant (P < 0·001) decrease in RSH content of kidney and liver and a significant (P < 0·001) increase of LOOH in all the examined tissues compared with the control group. In the OTA+C3G group both RSH content and LOOH levels were similar to those observed in the control group, demonstrating that C3G was able to counteract the effects of OTA. A significant (P < 0·001) induction of HO-1 was evident in kidney and liver of both OTA and C3G groups. DNA damage occurred in all the examined tissues of the OTA group, whereas C3G was able to prevent it. The present study confirmed that the effects of OTA are mediated by oxidative stress and demonstrated that C3G efficiently counteracted deleterious effects of OTA because of its antioxidant and HO-1-inducing properties.

(Received December 20 2006)

(Revised March 28 2007)

(Accepted March 30 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Fabio Galvano, fax 0965 322330, email


Abbreviations: C3G, cyanidin 3-O-β-d-glucoside; HO, haeme oxygenase; LOOH, lipid hydroperoxide; OTA, ochratoxin A; RSH, non-proteic thiol group