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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Dec;85(24):9748-52.

Antioxidant defenses and lipid peroxidation in human blood plasma.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley 94720.

Abstract

The temporal disappearance in human blood plasma of endogenous antioxidants in relation to the appearance of various classes of lipid hydroperoxides measured by HPLC postcolumn chemiluminescence detection has been investigated under two types of oxidizing conditions. Exposure of plasma to aqueous peroxyl radicals generated at a constant rate leads immediately to oxidation of endogenous ascorbate and sulfhydryl groups, followed by sequential depletion of bilirubin, urate, and alpha-tocopherol. Stimulating polymorphonuclear leukocytes in plasma initiates very rapid oxidation of ascorbate, followed by partial depletion of urate. Once ascorbate is consumed completely, micromolar concentrations of hydroperoxides of plasma phospholipids, triglycerides, and cholesterol esters appear simultaneously, even though sulfhydryl groups, bilirubin, urate, and alpha-tocopherol are still present at high concentrations. Nonesterified fatty acids, the only lipid class in plasma not transported in lipoproteins but bound to albumin, are preserved from peroxidative damage even after complete oxidation of ascorbate, most likely due to site-specific antioxidant protection by albumin-bound bilirubin and possibly by albumin itself. Thus, in plasma ascorbate and, in a site-specific manner, bilirubin appear to be much more effective in protecting lipids from peroxidative damage by aqueous oxidants than all the other endogenous antioxidants. Hydroperoxides of linoleic acid, phosphatidylcholine, and cholesterol added to plasma in the absence of added reducing substrates are degraded, in contrast to hydroperoxides of trilinolein and cholesterol linoleate. These findings indicate the presence of a selective peroxidase activity operative under physiological conditions. Our data suggest that in states of leukocyte activation and other types of acute or chronic oxidative stress such a simple regimen as controlled ascorbate supplementation could prove helpful in preventing formation of lipid hydroperoxides, some of which cannot be detoxified by endogenous plasma activities and thus might cause damage to critical targets.

PMID:
3200852
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC282858
Free PMC Article
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