Several epidemiological and experimental studies has been reported that lutein (LT) presents antioxidant properties. Aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effects of LT against oxidative stress and DNA damage induced by cisplatin (cDDP) in a human derived liver cell line (HepG2). Cell viability and DNA-damage was monitored by MU and comet assays. Moreover, different biochemical parameters related to redox status (glutathione, cytochrome-c and intracellular ROS) were also evaluated. A clear DNA-damage was seen with cDDP (1.0 mu M) treatment. In combination with the carotenoid, reduction of DNA damage was observed after pre- and simultaneous treatment of the cells, but not when the carotenoid was added to the cells after the exposure to cDDP. Exposure of the cells to cDDP also caused significant changes of all biochemical parameters and in co-treatment of the cells with LT, the carotenoid reverted these alterations. The results indicate that cDDP induces pronounced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells that is related to DNA damage and that the supplementation with the antioxidant LT may protect these adverse effects caused by the exposure of the cells to platinum compound, which can be a good predict for chemoprevention. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.