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Anal Biochem. 1992 May 1;202(2):384-9.

Ferrous ion oxidation in the presence of xylenol orange for detection of lipid hydroperoxide in low density lipoprotein.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, London.


A simple and sensitive method for the direct measurement of lipid peroxides in lipoprotein and liposomes is described. The method is based on the principle of the rapid peroxide-mediated oxidation of Fe2+ to Fe3+ under acidic conditions. The latter, in the presence of xylenol orange, forms a Fe(3+)-xylenol orange complex which can be measured spectrophotometrically at 560 nm. Calibration with standard peroxides, such as hydrogen peroxide, linoleic hydroperoxide, t-butyl hydroperoxide, and cumene hydroperoxide gives a mean apparent extinction coefficient of 4.52 x 10(4) M-1 cm-1 consistent with a chain length of approximately 3 for ferrous ion oxidation by hydroperoxides. Endoperoxides are less reactive or unreactive in the assay. The assay has been validated in the study of lipid peroxidation of low density lipoprotein and phosphatidyl choline liposomes. By pretreatment with enzymes known to metabolize peroxides, we have shown that the assay measures lipid hydroperoxides specifically. Other methods for measuring peroxidation, such as the assessment of conjugated diene, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and an iodometric assay have been compared with the ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange assay.

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