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Redox Rep. 2001;6(1):49-55.

Fatty acid chlorohydrins and bromohydrins are cytotoxic to human endothelial cells.

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Department of Pathology, Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.


Reaction of unsaturated lipids with the hypohalous acids (hypochlorous acid and hypobromous acid) results in the addition of the halide (X) across double bonds to form halohydrins (-CH2CH(OH)CH(X)CH2-). These modified lipids could be potentially destabilising to cell membranes due to their increased polarity. We have investigated the effect of pre-formed halohydrins on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) by incubating cultured cells with oleic acid micelles containing chlorohydrins or bromohydrins. Cell detachment and necrotic death were observed with increasing doses of halohydrins, whereas the cells were unaffected by equivalent doses of oleic acid. Bromohydrins caused more lysis than did chlorohydrins at equivalent doses. Complete lysis was seen with 200 microM fatty acid/chlorohydrin micelles and with 50 microM fatty acid/bromohydrin micelles. Chlorohydrin uptake was much less than the oleic acid control whereas bromohydrins were incorporated into the endothelial cells similarly to oleic acid. This difference or the bulkier nature of the bromohydrins could account for their increased toxicity. This study has demonstrated the potential toxicity of the halohydrins, and implications for their formation in inflammation are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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