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J Korean Med Sci. 2005 Oct;20(5):721-6.

Pharmacokinetics of glutathione and its metabolites in normal subjects.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Research Institute, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.


To determine the loading and maintenance dosage of glutathione (GSH) for patients suffering from reactive oxygen species (ROS) injury such as acute paraquat intoxication, a kinetic study of reduced GSH was performed in synchrony with that of cysteine (Cys), cystine (Cys2), and methionine (Met). Human subject's porticipitation was voluntary. The effective dose of Cys, Cys2, and Met against ROS in fibroblast cells generated by paraquat was assessed using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Both Cys and Met suppressed ROS in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 1-1,000 microM; the concentration required to suppress ROS by 50% was 10 microM for Cys and 50 microM for Met. Using metabolite kinetics with the assumption that Cys and Met are the metabolites of GSH, expected concentrations of Cys and Met of above 20 and 50 microM were estimated when GSH was administered at 50 mg/kg body weights every 205.4 min for Cys and 427.4 min for Met.

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