- The beneficial effects of grape consumption have been attributed to the antioxidant activity of its polyphenols. This study was conducted to investigate the cytoprotective effects of a freeze-dried grape powder (FDGP) on liver cells. FDGP treatment of primary hepatocytes and hepatoma cells revealed increased metabolic activity of cells and phosphorylation of Akt and IκBα, as well as up-regulation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) level. To study the molecular mechanisms of FDGP effects, cells were treated with TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL); taurodeoxycholic acid (TDCA); thapsigargin (TG), to induce cell apoptosis through death receptor-, mitochondria-, or ER-mediated pathway; and H2O2, to induce oxidative stress, respectively. TDCA-induced activation of caspase-3, caspase-7, caspase-9, and Bax was dramatically decreased with cotreatment of FDGP. Furthermore, FDGP reduced levels of annexin V positive cells by 4-fold. Also, FDGP pretreatment restored cellular glutathione content by 71% in cells treated with H2O2. However, FDGP did not inhibit ER-mediated apoptosis. In conclusion, FDGP increased the viability and metabolic activity of liver cells and attenuated oxidative stress- and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. These data may contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms involved in protective effects of grape in a variety of liver conditions associated with cellular stress.