Caffeine has been investigated for its potential mutagenic activity to bacteria, fungi and mammalian cells in culture, and at high concentrations it is also an inducer of apoptosis. Caffeine can exert acute cellular toxicity, including inhibition of cell growth and cell death, in Chinese hamster ovary cells.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the cell survival and apoptotic or non-apoptotic effects of caffeine to different concentrations in Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-K1). These effects were evaluated by measuring cell viability, caspase 8 activity and fragmented DNA. This study suggests that the concentration of caffeine is of critical importance because high doses of caffeine induce apoptosis and low concentrations can act as an antioxidant.
Previously, the cytotoxicity of caffeine was evaluated using a wide range of concentrations by the neutral red test. From this screening, adequate doses were selected to perform the caspase activity and fragmentation DNA studies. The potential antioxidant effect of caffeine was studied using tert-butyl-hydroperoxide as a free-radical generator. The repeatability was checked through three separate tests with the same concentration. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.