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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 Aug;59(8):1125-30.

Scavenging properties of metronidazole on free oxygen radicals in a skin lipid model system.

Author information

1
Medical Department, Galderma Laboratorium GmbH, Georg-Glock-Str. 8, 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a vital role in the pathophysiology of the skin disease rosacea, a chronic, genetically-determined and UV-triggered disease, leading to facial redness and blemishes and exhibiting a deep impact on a patient's self-esteem and quality of life. ROS can cause oxidative damage to nucleic acids, sugars, proteins and lipids, thereby contributing to adverse effects on the skin. Metronidazole has been the first-line topical agent therapy for many years; nevertheless the mechanism of action is still not well understood. The therapeutic efficacy of metronidazole has been attributed to its antioxidant effects, which can involve two pathways: decreased generation of ROS within tissues or scavenging and inactivation of existing ROS. Previous investigations have shown that metronidazole reduces ROS by decreasing ROS production in cellular in-vitro systems. The aim of the following study was to demonstrate that metronidazole additionally exhibits antioxidative properties in a cell-free system, by acting as an antioxidant scavenger. A simple skin lipid model (oxidative) system and a complex skin adapted lipid system in conjunction with thiobarbituric acid (TBA) test, a quantitative assay for the detection of malondialdehyde (MDA) and therefore lipid peroxidation, were used to determine the antioxidative properties of metronidazole after UV irradiation. Results clearly show that metronidazole has antioxidative properties in a cell-free environment, acting as a free radical scavenger. Simple skin lipid model: in the presence of 10, 100 and 500 microg mL(-1)metronidazole the MDA concentration was reduced by 25, 36 and 49%, respectively. Complex skin lipid system: in the presence of 100 and 500 microg mL(-1)metronidazole the MDA concentration was reduced by 19 and 34%, respectively. The results obtained in this study and from previous publications strongly suggest that metronidazole exhibits antioxidative effects via two mechanisms: decrease in ROS production through modulation of neutrophil activity and decrease in ROS concentration by exhibiting ROS scavenging properties. The remarkable clinical efficacy of metronidazole in the treatment of rosacea is probably due to its ability to decrease ROS via different mechanisms, thereby protecting skin components from induced damage.

PMID:
17725855
DOI:
10.1211/jpp.59.8.0010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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