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Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Feb;24(3):480-93.

A rapid gas chromatographic assay for determining oxyradical scavenging capacity of antioxidants and biological fluids.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70803, USA.


Herein, we report a new, rapid,and reliable method for measuring the protective antioxidant potential of pure antioxidant solutions or biological tissues. Peroxyl radicals generated by thermal homolysis of 2,2'-azobis-amidinopropane (ABAP) cause the oxidation of alpha-keto-gamma-methiolbutyric acid (KMBA) to ethylene; ethylene formation is monitored by gas chromatographic analysis of head space from the reaction vessel. The partial inhibition of ethylene formation in the presence of antioxidants that compete with KMBA for oxyradicals is the basis of the Total Oxyradical Scavenging Capacity Assay (TOSCA). The assay is shown to be reliable for quantifying ROS scavenging potential. The quantifiable parameters are consistent with the relative order of those predicted by the fluorescence- and oxygen electrode-based assays reported in the literature. Antioxidants competing for peroxyl radicals influenced the rate of KMBA oxidation in different ways, but the calculation of TOSC was not affected by such variations. Responses were linear over a wide range of sample concentrations and the TOSC values of classical soluble antioxidants showed the following relative order: Trolox > uric acid > ascorbic acid > GSH. The KMBA method was reliable for biological tissues; the TOSC for 1 microg rat liver cytosolic protein was 0.40 +/- 0.02 and for the microsomal membrane, 0.15 +/- 0.03. Soluble antioxidants accounted for 77% of the protective antioxidant potential in rat liver cytosol. When incorporated into the microsomal membrane, alpha-tocopherol markedly enhances antioxidant protection against peroxyl radical; thus, the assay is suitable for the assessment of fat-soluble antioxidants.

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