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

N-actylcysteine protects Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells from lead-induced oxidative stress.

In vitro administration of lead acetate (PbA) to cultures of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells had a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on colony formation. Colony formation was returned to control levels in lead-treated cultures that were supplemented with 1 mM N-actylcysteine (NAC), a well-documented synthetic antioxidant. In order to investigate the nature of NAC's protective effect, we measured L-gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), malondialdehyde (MDA) and catalase activity both in the presence and absence of NAC in lead-exposed CHO cells. Increases in both MDA levels (p < 0.05) and catalase activity (P < 0.05) were observed in cultures that received only PbA, but supplementation with NAC returned these measures to pretreatment levels. The ratio of GSH to GSSG increased in lead-exposed cells incubated in NAC-enhanced media, but declined in cultures treated with PbA only. Our results suggest that NAC can confer protection against lead-induced oxidative stress to CHO cells, possibly through the enhancement of the cell's own antioxidant defense mechanisms.[1]


  1. N-actylcysteine protects Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells from lead-induced oxidative stress. Ercal, N., Treeratphan, P., Lutz, P., Hammond, T.C., Matthews, R.H. Toxicology (1996) [Pubmed]
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