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Chem Biol Interact. 2000 Jan 3;124(1):53-60.

Inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis in primary cultured mouse hepatocytes by alpha-lipoic acid.

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  • 1Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan.


Recent work shows that septic or endotoxic shock is associated with lipopolysaccharide and cytokine mixture-induced nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in liver. Here we found that DL-alpha-lipoic acid inhibited but other thiol-containing antioxidants such as glutathione and N-acetylcysteine enhanced lipopolysaccharide and cytokine mixture (referred as LPS/CM)-induced NO synthesis in hepatocytes. The inhibitory action of alpha-lipoic acid on hepatocyte NO synthesis was as potent as that of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine without obvious cytotoxicity. Deletion by diethylmaleate or inhibition by buthionine sulfoximine of intracellular glutathione caused a significant decrease in hepatocyte NO synthesis, implying that increased intracellular reduced glutathione levels could not be the reason for alpha-lipoic acid inhibited NO synthesis. alpha-Lipoic acid inhibition of NO synthesis seems to be from alpha-lipoic acid improved carbohydrate metabolism in hepatocytes. Since alpha-lipoic acid is an essential compound existing naturally in physiological systems, it may serve as both a research and therapeutic agent for sepsis.

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