• condensed tannin containing fraction;
  • COX-2;
  • phenolics;
  • Sephadex LH-20 gel;
  • tomato

ABSTRACT:  Tomatoes, which are consumed worldwide, contain abundant phenolics. The objective of this study was to understand the suppression effect of phenolics in fresh and heated tomatoes on the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). Both small and big tomatoes of fresh or heated (in boiling water for 30 min) treatments were used. Sephadex LH-20 gel was used to separate the noncondensed tannin containing and the condensed tannin containing fractions from the crude phenolic extracts of tomatoes. The condensed tannin containing fraction was rich in condensed tannins and simple phenolics. The noncondensed tannin containing fraction contained abundant nontannin flavans. This study explored the effect of tomato phenolic extracts on the regulation of 12-o-teradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammatory responses in KB cells. HPLC showed that tomato phenolic profiles were similar between small and big tomatoes either by fresh or heated treatment. Fresh tomato extracts had 70.8 ± 4.8% (mean ± SD) noncondensed tannin containing polyphenols (6.68 ± 0.09 mg/g dry weight), 27.4 ± 6.9% condensed tannin containing polyphenols (3.52 ± 0.24 mg/g dry weight), and 1.7 ± 0.6% other residues. Instead, heated tomato had 53.3 ± 4.3% noncondensed tannin containing polyphenols (2.70 ± 0.20 mg/g dry weight), 24.2 ± 1.7% condensed tannin containing polyphenols (7.37 ± 0.03 mg/g dry weight), and 22.5 ± 4.8% other residues. Cell studies showed that phenolic extracts of heated tomatoes resulted in increased suppression of COX-2 expression compared with that of fresh tomato. Noncondensed tannin containing fraction of fresh tomato greatly suppressed COX-2 expression (P < 0.05) that compared to the negative control, but both noncondensed tannin containing and condensed tannin containing fractions of heated tomatoes showed suppression on COX-2 expression. These results suggest that tomato phenolics may play an important role in the chemoprevention of cancer.