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Xenobiotica. 1989 Mar;19(3):315-27.

Effect of 7-hydroxymethyl-12-methylbenz[a]anthracene and 1,3-bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea on enzyme activities and oxidation of glutathione in cultured rat adrenal cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Arrhenius Laboratory, University of Stockholm, Sweden.


1. The activities of enzymes participating in the regeneration of reduced glutathione (GSH), and their subcellular distribution were studied in cultured rat adrenal cells. 2. It has previously been shown that the adrenocorticolytic agent 7-hydroxymethyl-12-methylbenz[a]anthracene (7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA) causes a drastic and selective oxidation of mitochondrial GSH in rat adrenal cells. Treatment of the adrenal cells with 7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA, resulted in a minor decrease in the content of cytochrome c oxidase, nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and cytosolic GSH reductase, whereas the activity of lactate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase was unaffected. None of these effects were considered to be responsible for the massive oxidation of mitochondrial GSH induced by 7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA. 3. 1,3-Bis-(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) was used to obtain rat adrenal cells cultures with inactivated cytosolic and mitochondrial GSH reductase. The oxidation of mitochondrial GSH, induced by 7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA, was not dramatically enhanced by the inactivation of GSH reductase, indicating that this enzyme was not rate-limiting in the regeneration of GSH. 4. Fractionation of rat adrenal cells with increasing concentrations of digitonin resulted in an earlier release of citrate synthase in cells treated with 7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA compared with controls. These results may indicate damage to mitochondrial membranes as a result of 7-hydroxymethyl-12-MBA treatment.

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