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Am J Physiol. 1996 Feb;270(2 Pt 1):G376-84.

Vitamin E decreases hepatic levels of aldehyde-derived peroxidation products in rats with iron overload.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Oulu, Finland.


Hepatic iron overload can cause lipid peroxidation with the formation of aldehydic products, hepatocellular injury, and fibrosis. Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) may prevent peroxidation-induced hepatic damage. We used confocal laser scanning microscopy, digital image analysis, and immunohistochemical methods to quantitate aldehyde-derived peroxidation products in the liver of rats with experimental iron overload with or without supplemental vitamin E. A strong autofluorescent reaction colocalizing with iron deposits was present in the livers of iron-loaded rats. Fluorescent granules were unevenly distributed in the cytosol of both hepatocytes and Kupffer cells in the periportal regions. Immunohistochemical studies revealed the presence of malon-dialdehyde adducts in the periportal regions of the ironloaded rats. Vitamin E supplementation markedly reduced the fluorescence intensity and the amount of aldehyde-derived peroxidation products and changed the distribution of stainable iron and iron-associated peroxidation products such that their levels were much decreased in Kupffer cells. These results indicate that aldehyde-derived covalent chemical addition products are formed in the liver in iron overload. Vitamin E supplementation markedly reduces the amount of these compounds and changes their cellular distribution. These findings should be implicated in the role of antioxidant therapy in conditions causing iron overload and lipid peroxidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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