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Clin Chem. 1995 Mar;41(3):361-6.

Effect of thiol oxidation and thiol export from erythrocytes on determination of redox status of homocysteine and other thiols in plasma from healthy subjects and patients with cerebral infarction.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Changes in concentration of reduced and oxidized low-M(r) thiols were measured in blood and plasma before and after the separation of blood cells. If centrifugation of blood was postponed, the reduced form of homocysteine in plasma increased with time at 22 degrees C; in contrast, the concentrations of other reduced thiols (cysteine, glutathione, and cysteinylglycine) decreased. In plasma the reduced forms of all thiols disappeared at a rate that followed first-order kinetics. The rates of disappearance ("half-lives") were temperature-dependent; they were about the same for glutathione and homocysteine (11.7 and 14.3 min, respectively, at 22 degrees C) and somewhat higher for cysteinylglycine and cysteine. After establishing proper sampling conditions for reduced thiols, we measured this thiol fraction as well as free (non-protein-bound) and total thiols in 10 reference subjects and 19 patients with cerebral infarction. Mild but significant hyperhomocysteinemia involving total and free homocysteine (but not reduced homocysteine) was found in the patients.

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