Author(s): Gage JC
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Abstract 1. Paraquat and diquat produce only a slight increase in the oxygen uptake of rat liver mitochondria, and it is likely that they do not penetrate the mitochondrial membrane. 2. In mitochondrial fragments inhibited by antimycin A or by Amytal, both substances stimulate oxygen uptake with NADH or beta-hydroxybutyrate as substrate but not with succinate. The NADH dehydrogenase of the respiratory chain appears to be involved, at a site only partially inhibited by Amytal. 3. An NADPH oxidase activity is stimulated in rat liver microsomes by diquat, and to a smaller extent by paraquat; diquat also causes an NADH oxidase activity to develop. The effect is not inhibited by carbon monoxide or p-chloromercuribenzoate, and it is probable that a flavoprotein is involved by a mechanism not requiring thiol groups. 4. One molecule of oxygen can oxidize two molecules of NADPH in the stimulated microsomal system, the hydrogen peroxide produced being broken down by a catalase activity in the microsomes. 5. Diquat can stimulate NADH oxidase and NADPH oxidase activity in the postmicrosomal soluble fraction; the enzyme involved may be DT-diaphorase. 6. The mechanism of these reactions and their significance in relation to the toxicity of the dipyridilium compounds are discussed.
This article was published in Biochem J
and referenced in Biology and Medicine