In vitro experiments were performed to evaluate the capacity of the redox cycling compounds mitomycin C (MC), nitrofurantoin (NF) and paraquat (PQ) to stimulate pulmonary microsomal lipid peroxidation. It was observed that the interaction of MC, NF or PQ with rat or mouse lung microsomes in the presence of an NADPH-generating system and an O2 atmosphere resulted in significant lipid peroxidation. All three compounds demonstrated similar concentration dependency, similar time courses and the ability to generate lipid peroxidation-associated chemiluminescence. The stimulation of lipid peroxidation by MC, NF or PQ was inhibited significantly by Superoxide dismutase, glutathione, ascorbic acid, catalase and EDTA, agents which either scavenge reactive oxygen and/or prevent the generation of secondary reactive oxygen metabolites. In addition, the ability of MC or NF, but not PQ, to stimulate lipid peroxidation was reduced significantly following preincubation with microsomes and NADPH under N2 (15-20 min) prior to incubation under O2. During this period under N2, MC and NF underwent reductive metabolism of their quinone and nitro moieties respectively. Thus, it appears that under aerobic conditions the pulmonary microsomal-mediated redox cycling of MC, NF and PQ is accompanied by the stimulation of reactive oxygen-dependent lipid peroxidation.
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