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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Zinc suppression of free radicals induced in cultures of rat hepatocytes by iron, t-butyl hydroperoxide, and 3-methylindole.

The effect of zinc on lipid peroxidation initiated by either ferric-nitrilotriacetate, t-butyl hydroperoxide, or 3-methylindole was studied using primary monolayer cultures of rat liver parenchymal cells. The malondialdehyde content of the cells and culture medium was used to estimate the extent of lipid peroxidation. As the zinc concentration of the culture medium was increased from 1 to 48 microM, peroxidation was diminished. Cellular zinc and metallothionein levels were proportionally increased by supplemental zinc. Zinc supplementation of the medium inhibited NADPH-cytochrome c reductase activity and stimulated glutathione peroxidase activity. The uptake of iron into the hepatocytes was significantly reduced as the level of zinc was raised, suggesting that zinc antagonizes uptake of chelated iron into isolated hepatocytes and in this way blocks iron-induced peroxidation. Furthermore, induction of metallothionein synthesis by zinc may contribute to the reduction in free radicals. Spectra from electron spin resonance studies, using phenylbutylnitrone as a spin-trapping reagent, demonstrated that free radical production was inversely related to the zinc concentration of the culture medium. Spin trap data suggest that metallothionein added to lysed cells in vitro decreases free radical production. Studies using the spin trap, 3,3,5,5-tetramethylpyrroline-N-oxide indicated that cumulatively the predominant radical present in the cultures was a phenyl radical with hydroperoxide or methylindole. Collectively, our data demonstrate that zinc inhibits free radical production and lipid peroxidation in cultured hepatocytes. The mode of action of zinc could occur via free radical scavenging by zinc-induced metallothionein and/or by processes related to cytochrome P-450 and glutathione peroxidase, since these were also found to be sensitive to zinc supplementation levels of the culture medium.[1]


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