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Inflammation, reactive oxygen species and cytochrome P450

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Inflammation may ultimately result from damage to membrane lipids by reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxide, superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical and singlet oxygen. This study compares some of the methods used to determine ROS—ethane exhalation, malondialdehyde quantified as thiobarbituric acid-reacting materials, and luminol-activated chemiluminescence (LAC)—and explores possible relationships with oedema formation in the rat foot-pad model. Iron nitrilotriacetate was the most effective of the model compounds tested in producing lipid peroxidation and ethane exhalation in mice. In the mouse and the rat, iron nitrilotriacetate caused increased ethane exhalation and concomitant increases in liver and kidney malondialdehyde. In the rat foot-pad oedema model, the challenge with Freund's complete adjuvant produced maximum malondialdehyde and maximum LAC in the inflamed paw 8 h after dosing, at which time oedema had also reached a high level. These effects were attributed mainly to hydroxyl radical and singlet oxygen. The inhibition of oedema by four anti-inflammatory drugs correlated well with LAC but less well with inhibition of malondialdehyde production. This study shows good agreement between different methods of determining ROS formation, and that inhibition of ROS formation in vivo is paralleled by a decrease in inflammation.

Affiliations: 1: School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK


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