In vivo measurement of tumor redox environment using EPR spectroscopy

Govindasamy Ilangovan, Haiquan Li, Jay L. Zweier, Periannan Kuppusamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Solid tumors are characterized by a number of physiological properties such as occurrence of significant hypoxia, large amounts of cellular reducing equivalents, compromised blood-flow and low pH, all of which are distinctly different from normal tissues. Tumor therapeutic regimens such as radiation or chemotherapy attempt to exploit these physiological differences between normal and malignant tissue. Thus, methods that can detect these subtle differences would greatly aid in devising appropriate treatment strategies. Low-frequency in vivo electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is capable of providing non-invasive measurements of these parameters in tumors. This requires the use of appropriate exogenously injected free radical reporter molecules (probes), such as nitroxides. In the present study we performed measurements of nitroxide metabolism in RIF-1 murine tumors, in vivo, and demonstrated that the rate of nitroxide decay correlated with the tumor redox environment. The results showed the existence of significantly higher reducing environment in the tumor tissue compared to normal tissue. The dependence of the tumor redox status on the intracellular GSH levels and tissue oxygenation was investigated. The measurement of redox status and its manipulation may have important implications in the understanding of tumor growth and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
StatePublished - 2002


  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Glutathione
  • Nitroxide
  • Redox status
  • RIF-1 tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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