Cellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France)

Free radical scavenging actions of hippocampal metallothionein isoforms and of antimetallothioneins: an electron spin resonance spectroscopic study.

PMID 10872749


The high concentration of zinc in the hippocampal mossy fiber axon boutons is localized in the vesicles and is mobilized by exocytosis of the zinc-laden vesicles. Furthermore, the mammalian hippocampi contain metallothionein (MT) isoforms which regulate the steady state concentration of zinc, an important antioxidant. Indeed, zinc deprivation leads to an increased lipid peroxidation, reduces the activity of Cu++-Zn++ superoxide dismutase, and protect against oxidative stress such as exposure to ultraviolet A irradiation. By employing electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, we have demonstrated that rat hippocampal MT isoforms 1 and 2 were able to scavenge 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH), hydroxyl radicals (*OH) generated in a Fenton reaction, and superoxide anions (O2*-) generated by the hypoxanthine and xanthine oxidase system. In addition, MT-1 isoform protected the isolated hepatocytes from lipid peroxidation as determined by thiobarbituric acid bound malondialdehyde. MT antibodies scavenged DPPH radicals, hydroxyl radicals and reactive oxygen species but not superoxide anions. The results of these studies suggest that although both isoforms of MT are able to scavenge free radicals, the MT-1 appears to be a superior scavenger of superoxide anions and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals. Moreover, antibodies formed against MT isoform retain some, but not all, free radical scavenging actions exhibited by MT-1 and MT-2.

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