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Ferric reducing ability of plasma: A potential marker in stored plasma


 Department of Biotechnology, School of Sciences, Jain University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

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Date of Submission20-Jul-2017
Date of Acceptance05-Dec-2017
Date of Web Publication04-Jun-2022
 

   Abstract 

BACKGROUND: The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay is used for measuring the antioxidant capacity. FRAP is proportional to the molar concentration of the antioxidant capacity.
AIM: The objective of this study attempts to analyze the possibilities of FRAP as an indicator of oxidative stress (OS).
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: Blood was drawn from male Wistar rats and stored over a period of 20 days at 4°C in citrate phosphate dextrose adenine-1 (CPDA-1). They were divided into two groups: controls and experimentals. The experimentals were added with antioxidants-L-carnitine, curcumin (Cu), Vitamin C (VC), and caffeic acid (CA) of varying concentrations-10, 30, and 60 mM (n = 5 for each group).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Plasma was isolated from these samples at regular intervals (every 5 days) and FRAP and Protein were assayed. Results were analyzed by two-way ANOVA, using GraphPad Prism 6 (GraphPad Software, Inc. USA).
RESULTS: FRAP was maintained in controls. VC (ascorbic acid) was the most potent antioxidant in terms of FRAP during storage compared to the above antioxidants.
CONCLUSION: This study emphasizes the use of FRAP as a potential marker of OS in plasma of stored blood. FRAP can be utilized as a reliable marker for determining the antioxidant capacity.

Keywords: Antioxidants, blood storage, ferric reducing ability of plasma, plasma


How to cite this URL:
Hsieh C, Ravikumar S, Rajashekharaiah V. Ferric reducing ability of plasma: A potential marker in stored plasma. Asian J Transfus Sci [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2022 Jul 6]. Available from: https://www.ajts.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=346010



   Introduction Top


Ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) is an assay that is used for measuring the antioxidant power. This assay is based on the reduction of a Fe3+ complex of tripyridyltriazine (Fe[TPTZ]3+) to Fe(TPTZ)2+, which is intensely blue colored at low pH. Excess Fe3+ is utilized and Fe(TPTZ)2+ is the rate-limiting factor. Thus, the color formation reflects the reducing ability of the sample.[1],[2] However, FRAP was developed to give a more biologically relevant overview than individual biomarkers of oxidative stress (OS). Antioxidants (endogenous and exogenous) together provide protection against reactive oxygen species (ROS) than individual compounds. Therefore, overall antioxidant capacity such as FRAP gives a cumulative effect of all the antioxidants present than individual components. FRAP is the only assay that measures the antioxidants directly when compared to other assays, which measure the inhibition of free radicals. FRAP is directly proportional to the concentration of the electron donating antioxidants.[3] FRAP can be used as a single test for the estimation of total antioxidant capacity of blood. FRAP describes the prooxidant: antioxidant equilibrium better than other assays.[4] FRAP does not measure thiol antioxidants and the reduction of ferric ions.[5],[6] However, FRAP has gained importance as it is simple, cost-effective, straightforward, fast, and highly reproducible than compared to other tests of total antioxidant capacity.[4]

During storage of blood, OS is induced which causes irreversible damage that limits its shelf life.[7] OS represents an imbalance between the ROS being produced and the biological system's ability to counteract or detoxify the ROS or repair the resulting damage caused.[8] Blood and its components are stored in different storage solutions. The most commonly used storage solution is CPDA-1. Blood and its components possess an innate antioxidant system that helps in protecting itself against the ROS.[9] Since plasma holds all the blood's cellular components in suspension, it provides an overview of the OS microenvironment over storage.

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules which can cause OS, triggering cellular damage. Antioxidants combat these free radicals, thereby providing a protective effect.[10] An antioxidant is defined as “any substance that, when present at low concentrations compared to those of an oxidizable substrate, significantly delays or prevents oxidation of that substrate”.[11] Various studies have reported the beneficial effects of antioxidants (L-carnitine [LC], Curcumin, Vitamin C [VC]) in blood storage solutions.[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22]

Carnitine (L-3 hydroxy-4-N-N-N-trimethylaminobutyrate) is one of the nutrient-derived, nonenzymatic antioxidants that play an important role in fatty acid turnover. LC, the biologically active stereoisomer, is an endogenous compound derived from the diet or synthesized in the liver from lysine and methionine. It acts as an antioxidant that reduces metabolic stress in cells, thus reducing OS.[21],[23]

Curcumin (1,7-bis[4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl]-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione) or diferuloylmethane, a component of Curcuma longa (turmeric) possesses antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging activity. Curcumin increases intracellular glutathione (GSH) and regulates antioxidant enzymes. It also protects oxyhemoglobin from nitrite-induced oxidation.[12],[22]

VC or ascorbic acid is a cofactor for at least 8 enzymatic reactions. Ascorbic acid acts as a reducing agent. The oxidized forms of VC are semidehydroascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbate is maintained in its reduced state by GSH and Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-dependent reactions.[24],[25]

Caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid) and its conjugates (chlorogenic acid and caftaric acid) are powerful antioxidants.[26] They are ubiquitous in nature, found in almost every plant. Thus, there is a high potential to utilize this antioxidant.[27] They prevent the formation of mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds as they inhibit the N-nitrosation reactions.[28]

Studies have reported the use of FRAP to determine the antioxidant capacity of various extracts.[29],[30],[31],[32],[33] However, FRAP as an OS marker during blood storage has not been reported. Thus, this study attempts to analyze the possibilities of FRAP as an indicator of OS.


   Materials and Methods Top


Animal care and maintenance were in accordance with the Ethical Committee regulations (841/b/04/CPCSEA).

Blood sampling

Animals were lightly anesthetized with ether and restrained in dorsal recumbancy as described earlier.[34] In brief, the syringe needle was inserted just below the xiphoid cartilage and slightly to the left of the midline. Four–Five milliliter of blood was carefully aspirated from the heart into 5 ml polypropylene collection tubes with CPDA-1 (Sodium dihydrogenorthophosphate 2.22 g/L, Citric acid 3.27 g/L, Sodium citrate 26.3 g/L, Dextrose 31.9 g/L and Adenine 0.27 g/L).[35]

Experimental design

Blood was drawn from 65 male Wistar rats (4-month-old) and divided into two groups: controls and experimentals. The experimentals were added with antioxidants-LC, curcumin (Cu), VC, and caffeic acid (CA) of varying concentrations – 10, 30, and 60 mM (n for each group = 5 [Controls = 5; LC 10 = 5, LC 30 = 5, LC 60 = 5; Cu 10 = 5, Cu 30 = 5, Cu 60 = 5; VC 10 = 5, VC 30 = 5, VC 60 = 5; CA 10 = 5, CA 30 = 5, CA 60 = 5]) and stored for 20 days at 4°C. Plasma was isolated from whole blood at regular intervals (every 5 days) and assayed.

Plasma separation

Plasma was isolated from 1 ml whole blood in microcentrifuge tubes by centrifuging in a fixed angle rotor for 20 min at 1000 g. The plasma was removed and stored at −20°C for further assays.[36]

Ferric reducing ability of plasma

The FRAP assay was performed as described by Benzie and Strain, 1996.[2] In brief, sample was added to freshly prepared FRAP reagent (300 mM acetate buffer [pH 3.6], 10 mM TPTZ and 20 mM FeCl3). The reaction mixture was incubated for 5 min at 37°C, and absorbance was read at 593 nm. FRAP was determined by using the extinction coefficient of 21,250 mM−1 cm−1.

Protein

Protein was determined in the plasma by the method of Lowry et al., 1951,[37] using bovine serum albumin as the standard.

Statistical analyses

Results are represented as mean ± standard error. Values between the groups (storage period) and subgroups (antioxidants) were analyzed by two-way ANOVA and were considered statistically significant at P < 0.05. Bonferroni posttest was performed for FRAP using GraphPad Prism 6 software.


   Results Top


FRAP was maintained during storage in controls. Changes in FRAP was significant in all experimental groups.

L-carnitine

FRAP increased by 85% and 52% on days 10 and 20, respectively, with day 0 in LC 10. Decrements of 80% were observed in LC 30 and LC 60 on all days when compared with day 0.

Elevations of 75% in LC 30 against controls and 55% in LC 60 with LC 10 were observed on day 0. Decrement of 80% was observed in LC 30 and LC 60 with respect to controls and LC 10 on day 5. A 1 fold increase was observed in LC 10 with controls on day 10. However, 60% and 80% decrements were observed in LC 30 and LC 60 against controls and LC 10 on day 10. FRAP decreased in LC 30 and LC 60 by 65% (with controls) and 75% (with LC 10) on day 15. An increment of 55% was observed in LC 10 with controls, while decrements of 70% and 82% were observed in LC 30 and LC 60 with controls and LC 10, respectively, on day 20 [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Effect of L-carnitine on ferric reducing ability of plasma during storage. LC 10 = L-carnitine 10 mM, LC 30 = L-carnitine 30 mM, and LC 60 = L-carnitine 60 mM. Values are mean ± SE of five animals/group. Two way ANOVA was performed between the groups and subgroups to analyze ferric reducing ability of plasma, followed by Bonferroni posttest, using GraphPad Prism 6 software. Changes between the groups are represented in upper case. Changes within the groups are represented in lower case. Those not sharing the same letters are significantly different

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Curcumin

FRAP increased in Cu 10 by 51% on day 10 against day 0. Cu 30 (days 10, 15, and 20) and Cu 60 (days 5, 10, 15, and 20) showed 1 fold increments with respect to day 0.

An elevation of 1 fold was observed in Cu 60 with controls and Cu 10 on day 5. Elevations of 2 folds were observed in Cu 30 with respect to control on days 10, 15, and 20. FRAP elevated by 1 fold (days 5 and 15) and 2 folds (days 10 and 20) in Cu 60 against controls. Elevations of 99% and 75% were observed in Cu 30 and Cu 60, respectively, when compared to Cu 10 on day 10 [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Effect of curcumin on ferric reducing ability of plasma during storage. Cu 10 = Curcumin 10 mM, Cu 30 = Curcumin 30 mM, Cu 60 = Curcumin 60 mM. Values are mean ± standard error of five animals/groups. Two-way ANOVA was performed between the groups and subgroups to analyze the ferric reducing ability of plasma, followed by Bonferroni posttest, using GraphPad Prism 6 software. Changes between the groups are represented in upper case. Changes within the groups are represented in lower case. Those not sharing the same letters are significantly different

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Vitamin C

FRAP levels in VC 10 decremented by 63% (day 10), 37% (day 15), and 55% (day 20) when compared with day 0. Elevation of 42% was observed on day 5, while decrements of 44%, 22%, and 27% were observed on days 10, 15, and 20 in VC 30. FRAP elevated by 13 folds (days 5 and 10), 16 folds (day 15), and 1 fold (day 20) with respect day 0 in VC 60.

Elevations of 2 folds (VC 10) and 3 folds (VC 30) were observed with respect to controls on day 0. FRAP incremented by 2 folds (VC 10), 4 folds (VC 30), and 3 folds (VC 60) with respect to controls on day 5. Elevations of 1 fold and 3 folds were observed in VC 30 (compared with controls) and VC 60 (with respect to controls) respectively day 10. VC 30 and VC 60 showed 2 folds and 3 folds elevations against controls on day 15. FRAP elevated by 2 folds (VC 30 with controls) on day 20 [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Effect of Vitamin C on ferric reducing ability of plasma during storage. VC 10 = Vitamin C 10 mM, VC 30 = Vitamin C 30 mM, VC 60 = Vitamin C 60 mM. Values are mean ± standard error of five animals/groups. Two-way ANOVA was performed between the groups and sub-groups to analyze ferric reducing ability of plasma, followed by Bonferroni posttest, using GraphPad Prism 6 software. Changes between the groups are represented in the upper case. Changes within the groups are represented in lower case. Those not sharing the same letters are significantly different

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Caffeic acid

FRAP was maintained in CA samples throughout the storage period. A decrement of 32% was observed in CA 10 on day 20 when compared with day 0.

Increment of 1 fold was observed in CA 10 with controls on days 0, 5, 10, and 15. FRAP increased by 55% on day 20 in CA 10 against controls. Elevations of 2 folds were observed in CA 30 with controls on days 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20. CA 60 showed 3 folds (days 0 and 10) and 2 folds (days 5, 10, and 15) elevations against controls [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Effect of caffeic acid on the ferric reducing ability of plasma during storage. CA 10 = caffeic acid 10 mM, CA 30 = caffeic acid 30 mM, CA 60 = caffeic acid 60 mM. Values are mean ± standard error of five animals/groups. Two-way ANOVA was performed between the groups and subgroups to analyze ferric reducing ability of plasma, followed by Bonferroni posttest, using GraphPad Prism 6 software. Changes between the groups are represented in the upper case. Changes within the groups are represented in lower case. Those not sharing the same letters are significantly different

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   Discussion Top


FRAP is proportional to the molar concentration of antioxidants present. An increase in FRAP value is usually a desirable phenomenon as it proves a better protection against OS.[38] FRAP assay depends on the reduction of the TPTZ complex (Fe3+ to Fe2+) by a reductant (plasma constituents) at low pH. The Fe2+ complex results in the blue coloration that can be detected at 593 nm.[8],[39]

FRAP was maintained in controls over the storage period, indicating that the innate antioxidant system present in plasma, can combat the OS-induced during storage.

LC is an effective antioxidant as it possesses radical scavenging (superoxides, hydrogen peroxide), metal chelating activity and has great reducing power.[40] It contributes to the antioxidant defense by: (i) directly scavenging free radicals, (ii) preventing the formation of free radicals, (iii) maintaining the redox state of cells, and (iv) activating vitagens.[41] LC also stabilizes the energy balance across cell membranes and enhances carbohydrate metabolism, along with maintaining the cell volume and fluid balance,[42] thus protecting the erythrocyte membrane. LC reduces OS as it increases the antioxidant activity and sulfhydryls while it reduces lipid peroxidation.[43] LC at 10 mM is more beneficial than at 30 and 60 mM in terms of FRAP. LC at 10 mM may be the optimum concentration to maintain the antioxidant capacity.

Curcumin (phenolic chain-breaking antioxidant) donates hydrogen atoms from the phenolic group or through the central methylenic hydrogen. This is responsible for the antioxidant property of curcumin.[44],[45] Curcumin at higher concentrations upregulates the antioxidant enzyme activity and reduces lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation.[12] Thus, FRAP was directly proportional to the concentration of Curcumin.

VC reduces metal ions (such as iron) that are present in the active sites of mono and dioxygenases. It acts as a cosubstrate rather than a coenzyme.[46] Ascorbate also assists in the regeneration of α-tocopherol from the α-tocopheryl radical. It reacts with radicals to form an intermediate radical (ascorbate radical) of low reactivity.[47] VC at all concentrations upregulated FRAP. This can be attributed to VC's potent ferric reducing ability. It reduces Fe3+ similar to hydroxylamine.[48]

Caffeic acid protects α-tocopherol in low-density lipoprotein.[26] Caffeic acid and its analogs are antioxidants with multiple mechanisms that include, free radical scavenging, metal ion chelation, and inhibits free radical and lipid hydroperoxide formation.[49] Caffeic acid increased FRAP at all concentrations and was proportional to the concentration of Caffeic acid. This can be attributed to caffeic acid's potent free radical scavenging, metal chelating property, and its effective reducing power. It has a greater reducing power than the standard compounds such as butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydroxyanisole, trolox, α-tocopherol, etc.[26]

VC (ascorbic acid) was the most potent antioxidant in terms of FRAP during storage, with respect to the above antioxidants (VC > caffeic acid > curcumin > LC).

FRAP is a potential marker of OS in the plasma of stored blood as it reflects the antioxidant capacity. Thus, FRAP can be utilized as a reliable marker for determining the antioxidant capacity.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Dr. Leela Iyengar, Mrs. Manasa K, and Jain University for their support.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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Correspondence Address:
Vani Rajashekharaiah,
Department of Biotechnology, School of Sciences, Jain University, 18/3, 9th Main, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bengaluru - 560 011, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajts.AJTS_96_17



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