Send to

Choose Destination
Neurochem Int. 2002 May;40(6):469-74.

Impairment of brain mitochondrial function by reactive nitrogen species: the role of glutathione in dictating susceptibility.

Author information

Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology and National Hospital, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


Mitochondrial enzymes involved in energy metabolism display varying degrees of sensitivity towards reactive nitrogen species such as peroxynitrite (ONOO-). With regards to the electron transport chain, cytochrome oxidase appears particularly sensitive. Inhibition of this component may lead to an increase in mitochondrial superoxide formation, exacerbation of cellular oxidative stress and further mitochondrial damage. Impairment of the electron transport chain may lead to a loss of membrane potential, ATP deficiency, opening of the permeability transition pore and the release of factors capable of initiating apoptosis. Reduced glutathione will react, via a number of diverse reactions, with reactive nitrogen species and hence is capable of limiting mitochondiral damage. Loss of brain glutathione may therefore be an important factor in those neurological conditions in which there is evidence of excessive nitric oxide formation and mitochondrial damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center