Author(s): Kagan VE, Serbinova EA, Packer L, Kagan VE, Serbinova EA, Packer L
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Abstract Hindered phenols are widely used food preservatives. Their pharmacological properties are usually attributed to high antioxidant activity due to efficient scavenging of free radicals. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) also cause tissue damage. Their toxic effects could be due to the production of phenoxyl radicals. If phenoxyl radicals can be recycled by reductants or electron transport, their potentially harmful side reactions would be minimized. A simple and convenient method to follow phenoxyl radical reactions in liposomes and rat liver microsomes based on an enzymatic (lipoxygenase + linolenic acid) oxidation system was used to generate phenoxyl radicals from BHT and its homologues with substitutents in m- and p-positions. Different BHT-homologues display characteristic ESR signals of their radical species. In a few instances the absence of phenoxyl radical ESR signals was found to be due to inhibition of lipoxygenase by BHT-homologues. In liposome or microsome suspensions addition of ascorbyl palmitate resulted in disappearance of the ESR signal of phenoxyl radicals with concomittant appearance of the ascorbyl radical signal. After exhaustion of ascorbate, the phenoxyl radical signal reappears. Comparison of the rates of ascorbyl radical decay in the presence or absence of BHT-homologues showed that temporary elimination of the phenoxyl radical ESR signal was due to their reduction by ascorbate. Similarly, NADPH or NADH caused temporary elimination of ESR signals as a result of reduction of phenoxyl radicals in microsomes. Since ascorbate and NADPH might generate superoxide in the incubation system used, SOD was tested. SOD shortened the period, during which the phenoxyl radicals ESR signal could not be observed. Both ascorbyl palmitate and NADPH exerted sparing effects on the loss of BHT-homologues during oxidation. These effects were partly diminished by SOD. These data indicate that reduction of phenoxyl radicals was partly superoxide-dependent. It is concluded that redox recycling of phenoxyl radicals can occur by intracellular reductants like ascorbate and microsomal electron transport.
This article was published in Arch Biochem Biophys
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research