Oxidative insult to human red blood cells induced by free radical initiator AAPH and its inhibition by a commercial antioxidant mixture

C G Zou, N S Agar, G L Jones
Life Sciences 2001 May 25, 69 (1): 75-86
This study was carried out to investigate sequel of oxidative insult to human erythrocytes induced by a water-soluble radical initiator, 2,2'-azobis-(amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH) and the effect of a commercially available mixed antioxidant (Blackmores, BioAce Excel), containing alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene and some herbal extracts (containing grape seed catechins and milk thistle derived silybin), on lipid peroxidation, degradation of membrane proteins and haemolysis. We performed this study in order firstly to clarify aspects of the mechanism of AAPH induced free radical damage in human erythrocytes and secondly to establish in vitro conditions by which the efficacy of mixed antioxidant preparations may fairly and objectively be compared. In the process of oxidation initiated by peroxyl radical, a rapid loss of reduced glutathione occurred in the first 60 min. Formation of thiobarbitric acid-reactive substances indicative of lipid peroxidation increased subsequently and almost reached maximal levels at 180 min before significant apparent degradation of membrane proteins was detected. At this point, a significant haemolysis occurred. This sequence of events is consistent with the idea that haemolysis is a consequence of lipid peroxidation and the degradation of membrane proteins. The mixed commercial antioxidant, which suppressed lipid peroxidation and protected membrane proteins against degradation induced by peroxyl radicals, also effectively delayed AAPH induced haemolysis. The system we describe provides a sound objective basis for the in vitro comparison of the potential efficacy of the hundreds of antioxidant nutritional supplements currently available in the market place.

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