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Mol Cell Biochem. 1996 Jun 21;159(2):115-21.

Hepatic response to the oxidative stress induced by E. coli endotoxin: glutathione as an index of the acute phase during the endotoxic shock.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad Computense, Madrid, Spain.


Reactive oxygen species are important mediators of cellular damage during endotoxic shock. In order to investigate the hepatic response to the oxidative stress induced by endotoxin, hepatic and plasma glutathione (total, GSH and GSSG), GSSG/GSH ratio as well as Mn-superoxide dismutase and catalase activities were determined during the acute and recovery phases of reversible endotoxic shock in the rat. A significant increase in liver and plasma total glutathione content was observed 5 h after endotoxin treatment (acute phase), followed by a diminution of these parameters below control values at 48 h (recovery phase). The significant increases of GSSG levels and GSSG/GSH ratio are indicative of oxidative stress occurring during the acute phase. Liver Mn-SOD activity showed a similar time dependency as the GSSG/GSH ratio; however, a marked decrease in the liver catalase activity was observed during the process. These results indicate the participation of liver glutathione in the response to endotoxin and the possible use of plasma glutathione levels and GSSG/GSH ratio as indicators of the acute phase during the endotoxic process.

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