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Free Radic Biol Med. 1992;12(5):397-407.

Role of physiological antioxidants in chromium(VI)-induced cellular injury.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan.


Chromium(VI) compounds are well known to be potent toxic and carcinogenic agents. Because chromium(VI) is easily taken up by cells and is subsequently reduced to the trivalent form, the formation of chromium(III) or other intermediate oxidation states such as chromium(V) and (IV) is believed to play a role in the adverse biological effects of chromium(VI) compounds. Recent in vitro studies have shown that this reduction process generates free radical species such as active oxygen radicals. Furthermore, physiological antioxidants are reported to modify the genotoxic and toxic effects of chromate. This article reviewed the recent in vitro and in vivo studies of the effects of antioxidants including active oxygen scavengers; glutathione; vitamins B2, E, and C, on chromate-induced injury such as DNA lesions; lipid peroxidation; enzyme inhibition; cytotoxicity; mutation; and so on. In addition, the mechanism of action of these antioxidants was discussed with respect to the formation of active oxygen radicals and paramagnetic chromium such as chromium(V) and (III). Such studies may help elucidate the mechanism of chromium(VI) toxicity as well as the mechanism of protection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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