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Free Radic Biol Med. 1993 Jun;14(6):583-8.

Aging, cytochrome oxidase activity, and hydrogen peroxide release by mitochondria.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275.


The objective of this study was to explore the possible cause(s) underlying the previously observed, age-related increase in the rate of mitochondrial H2O2 release in the housefly. The hypothesis that an imbalance between different respiratory complexes may be a causal factor was tested. Cytochrome c oxidase activity was found to sharply decline in the latter part of the life span of the flies. Effects of different substrates and respiratory inhibitors were determined in order to ascertain if a decrease in cytochrome c oxidase activity could be responsible for the increased H2O2 release. H2O2 was measured spectrofluorometrically using horseradish peroxidase and p-hydroxphenylacetate as an indicator. Neither NADH-linked substrates nor succinate caused a stimulation of H2O2 production. H2O2 release by mitochondria, inhibited with rotenone and antimycin A, was greatly increased upon supplementation with alpha-glycerophosphate; however, the further addition of KCN or myxothiazol, to such preparations, caused a depression of H2O2 generation. In contrast, relatively low concentrations of KCN or myxothiazol were found to stimulate H2O2 release in insect mitochondria supplemented with alpha-glycerophosphate and exposed to rotenone, but not antimycin A. Results are interpreted to suggest that partial inhibition of cytochrome c oxidase activity can lead to the stimulation of mitochondrial H2O2 production in the housefly at site(s) other than NADH dehydrogenase and ubisemiquinone/cytochrome b region; a possible source may be glycerophosphate dehydrogenase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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