Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Redox Rep. 2008;13(1):2-10. doi: 10.1179/135100008X259150.

Lipoic acid and acetyl-carnitine reverse iron-induced oxidative stress in human fibroblasts.

Author information

  • 1Nutrition & Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, USA.


Iron overload occurs frequently in thalassemia and other disorders that require regular blood transfusions. Excess iron is toxic owing to the generation of free radicals that lead to oxidation of biomolecules and tissue damage. In order to identify compounds that reduce oxidative injury from iron, we evaluated alpha-lipoic acid (LA), a multifunctional antioxidant, in iron-overloaded primary human fibroblasts (IMR-90). Oxidant stress was measured using dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate that is converted to the fluorescent dichlorofluorescein (DCF) upon oxidation. Exposure to ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) increased the iron-content of IMR-90 cells and caused a rise in oxidant appearance. The addition of LA improved the cellular redox status and attenuated the iron-mediated rise in oxidants in a dose-dependent manner. The R- and RS-enantiomers of LA demonstrated similar antioxidant activity. N-tert-butyl hydroxylamine (NtBHA) treated cells also exhibited a decrease in DCF fluorescence, but at a much higher concentration compared with LA. The combination acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) and LA exhibited superior antioxidant effect at all dose levels. We conclude that LA is highly effective in reversing oxidative stress arising from iron overload and that its antioxidant efficacy is further enhanced in combination with ALCAR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk