Free radical production during metabolism of organic hydroperoxides by normal human keratinocytes

Anna Iannone, Alessandra Marconi, Giovanna Zambruno, Alberto Giannetti, Vanio Vannini, Aldo Tomasi

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Evidence of a relationship between tumor production induced by various organic (hydro)peroxides and free radical formation has been shown in cultured murine keratinocytes and human skin-tumor cell line. In the present study the bioactivation of cumene hydroperoxide, t-butyl-hydroperoxide, and benzoyl peroxide via one-electron oxidation or reduction was compared in freshly isolated and in cultured normal human keratinocytes. The formation of methyl free radicals during the metabolism of cumene and t-butyl-hydroperoxide was shown by the electron spin resonance-spin trapping technique. Radical formation increased under hypoxic conditions. An intracellular activation site was demonstrated by the use of two spin-trapping agents, the hydrophilic, membrane-impermeable, 3,5-dibromo-4-nitrosobenzenesulfonic acid and the lipophilic, membrane-permeable α-(4-pyridyl-l-oxide)-N-t-butylnitrone. At 30 min incubation and 25 mM concentration, hydroperoxides exhibited cytotoxicity, as indicated by trypan blue exclusion and lactate dehydrogenase release assay; free radicals were concurrently trapped. Hydroperoxides at a lower concentration (1 mM) did not significantly affect cell viability. However, free radical production was still detected using a membranepermeable spin trap. The incubation of keratinocytes with benzoyl peroxide did not show any peroxide-dependent radical adduct. No significant differences in bioactivation capability were demonstrated between freshly isolated and cultured human keratinocytes. The results indicate that cultured human keratinocytes can be used as a model system for the study of the metabolic activation to free radical intermediates of toxic and carcinogenic compounds in the epidermis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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