Hydroperoxide-induced chemiluminescence in rabbit lungs: Role of arachidonic acid enzymes

A. L. Knoblauch, A. Paky, J. R. Michael, M. E. Kutner, E. Cadenas, H. Sies, N. F. Adkinson, G. H. Gurtner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-level chemiluminescence (C) is thought to be an index of oxidant stress. We measured the relationship between low-level C, pulmonary arterial pressure, and perfusate concentration of thromboxane B2 (TxB2) in isolated perfused rabbit lungs during challenge with tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-bu-OOH). We also measured glutathione release as another index of oxidant stress. We found that C was correlated with each variable, suggesting that oxidant stress measured by C and by glutathione release stimulated TxB2 production and pulmonary vasoconstriction. We also investigated the contribution of active O2 metabolites produced by prostaglandin (PG) peroxidase to oxidant stress by studying the effects of t-bu-OOH before and after the use of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitors. We found that C was augmented after inhibition, perhaps due to metabolism of t-bu-OOH by peroxidases of both arachidonic acid (AA) metabolic pathways in the absence of their normal substrates. We studied phenylbutazone, thought to inhibit peroxidases, and AA. C during t-bu-OOH administration was not augmented after phenylbutazone and was markedly inhibited after AA administration perhaps because AA competes with t-bu-OOH. To further study the role of peroxidases we pretreated the lungs with the antioxidant dithiothreitol, which inhibits peroxidases involved in both the cyclooxyenase and lipoxygenase pathways. Dithiothreitol nearly abolished C produced by t-bu-OOH and also prevented the increased light caused by eicosatetrynoic acid. We directly tested the hypothesis that C occurred as a result of the interaction of t-bu-OOH and the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes; we measured C when t-bu-OOH was added to purified PGH2 synthase or soybean lipoxygenase. The combination of t-bu-OOH with PGH2 synthase or lipoxygenase led to C that was inhibited by dithiothreitol and by the antioxidant phenol. These results suggest that enzymes involved in AA metabolism can interact with t-bu-OOH and that the action of these enzymes on t-bu-OOH leads to C. The results may mean that lipid peroxides can indirectly contribute to tissue oxidant stress due to production of active O2 metabolites as by-products of their metabolism by AA peroxidases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1350
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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