Free radical biology & medicine

Lipoamide protects retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

PMID 18258206


alpha-Lipoic acid (LA) has been widely studied as an agent for preventing and treating various diseases associated with oxidative disruption of mitochondrial functions. To investigate a related mitochondrial antioxidant, we compared the effects of lipoamide (LM), the neutral amide of LA, with LA for measures of oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction in a human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell line. Acrolein, a major component of cigarette smoke and a product of lipid peroxidation, was used to induce oxidative mitochondrial damage in RPE cells. Overall, using comparable concentrations, LM was more effective than LA at preventing acrolein-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Relative to LA, LM improved ATP levels, membrane potentials, and activities of mitochondrial complexes I, II, and V and dehydrogenases that had been decreased by acrolein exposure. LM reduced acrolein-induced oxidant generation, calcium levels, protein oxidation, and DNA damage to a greater degree than LA. And, total antioxidant capacity, glutathione content, glutathione S-transferase, and superoxide dismutase activities and expression of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 were increased by LM relative to LA. These results suggest that LM is a more potent mitochondrial-protective agent and antioxidant than LA in protecting RPE from oxidative damage.