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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2003 Jan-Mar;14(1):20-6.

Carbocysteine lysine salt monohydrate (SCMC-LYS) is a selective scavenger of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs).

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Dompé SpA Research Center, via Campo di Pile, 67100 - L'Aquila, Italy.


Carbocysteine lysine salt monohydrate (SCMC-Lys) is a well-known mucoactive drug whose therapeutic efficacy is commonly related to the ability of SCMC-Lys to replace fucomucins by sialomucins. The aim of this study was to determine if SCMC-Lys could exert an anti-oxidant action by scavenging reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs). Our results show that SCMC-Lys proved effective as a selective scavenger of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hydroxyl radical (OH.), this effect being related to the reactivity of the SCMC tioether group. The scavenger activity of SCMC-Lys was observed in free cellular system as well as in activated human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs). SCMC-Lys scavenger activity on HOCl was paralleled by a powerful protection from HOCl-mediated inactivation of alpha1-antitripsin (alpha1-AT) inhibitor, the main serum protease inhibitor. Production of interleukin-(IL-)8, a major mediator of PMN recruitment in inflammatory diseases, is known to be mediated by intracellular OH. SCMC-Lys significantly reduced IL-8 production on stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in the same range of concentrations affecting OH. activity. It is concluded that SCMC-Lys could exert, in addition to its mucoactive capacity, an anti-oxidant action, thus contributing to the therapeutic efficacy of SCMC-Lys.

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