Plant phenolics behave as radical scavengers in the context of insect (Manduca sexta) hemolymph and midgut fluid.J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Dec 28; 53(26):10120-6.JA
To evaluate the prooxidant versus antioxidant properties of plant phenolics toward leaf-feeding caterpillars, quenching of the stable ABTS radical by five phenolics was measured in two physiological contexts: hemolymph and midgut fluid. Addition of tannic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, or catechin to Manduca sexta (L.) gut fluid increased its total antioxidant capacity by 12-45%, with tannic acid and quercetin being the most powerful in this regard. The antioxidant contribution of the phenolics increased with longer (30-60 min) incubation time in gut fluid. Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid exhibited the weakest antioxidant activity in gut fluid. The total antioxidant capacity of hemolymph is considerably less than that of gut fluid, and in hemolymph chlorogenic and caffeic acids sometimes acted as mild prooxidants, particularly after longer incubation periods (30-60 min), although this trend was not statistically significant. Tannic acid, catechin, and quercetin behaved as antioxidants in hemolymph. These results suggest that many phenolics have radical scavenging activity in the digestive tract, but some may have more detrimental effects after absorption into the hemolymph compartment.