Resveratrol inhibited hydroquinone-induced cytotoxicity in mouse primary hepatocytes

Da Hong Wang, Yoshie Ootsuki, Hirofumi Fujita, Masahiro Miyazaki, Qinxia Yie, Ken Tsutsui, Kuniaki Sano, Noriyoshi Masuoka, Keiki Ogino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Hydroquinone (1,4-benzenediol) has been widely used in clinical situations and the cosmetic industry because of its depigmenting effects. Most skin-lightening hydroquinone creams contain 4%-5% hydroquinone. We have investigated the role of resveratrol in prevention of hydroquinone induced cytotoxicity in mouse primary hepatocytes. We found that 400 μM hydroquinone exposure alone induced apoptosis of the cells and also resulted in a significant drop of cell viability compared with the control, and pretreatment of resveratrol to a final concentration of 0.5 mM 1 h before hydroquinone exposure did not show a significant improvement in the survival rate of the hepatocytes, however, relatively higher concentrations of resveratrol (≥1 mM) inhibited apoptosis of the mouse primary hepatocytes and increased cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, and in particular the survival rate of the hepatocytes was recovered from 28% to near 100% by 5 mM resveratrol. Interestingly, pretreatment with resveratrol for longer time (24 h), even in very low concentrations (50 μM, 100 μM), blocked the damage of hydroquinone to the cells. We also observed that resveratrol pretreatment suppressed hydroquinone-induced expression of cytochrome P450 2E1 mRNA dose-dependently. The present study suggests that resveratrol protected the cells against hydroquinone-induced toxicity through its antioxidant function and possibly suppressive effect on the expression of cytochrome P450 2E1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3354-3364
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • CYP 2E1
  • Cytotoxicity prevention
  • Hydroquinone
  • Primary culture of mouse hepatocytes
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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