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Redox Rep. 2007;12(6):275-81.

Critical role of exposure time to endogenous oxidative stress in hepatocyte apoptosis.

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Laboratory of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kagawa Campus, Tokushima Bunri University, Kagawa, Japan.


We have previously shown that inhibition of catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities in rat primary hepatocytes by 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (ATZ) and mercaptosuccinic acid (MS) results in sustained oxidative stress, followed by apoptosis. To examine the effects of duration of oxidative stress, ATZ and MS were removed from culture medium at 3, 6 and 9 h after treatment with both inhibitors. Oxidative stress was induced for periods of time by ATZ and MS exposures in primary hepatocytes. Treatment with ATZ and MS reduced catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, and decreased CAT and GPx activities recovered to normal values upon withdrawal. Although oxidative stress of up to 6 h duration did not cause cell death, sustained oxidative stress (over 9 h) induced apoptosis. The increase in the glutathione disulfide/reduced glutathione ratio under oxidative stress up to 6 h was transient and reversible, while that due to sustained oxidative stress was irreversible. These results suggest that irreversible redox shifts resulting from sustained oxidative stress play a critical role in the induction of hepatocyte apoptosis in this experimental system.

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