Chronic depletion of glutathione (GSH) and minimal modification of LDL in vivo: Its prevention by glutathione mono ester (GME) therapy

Namakkal Soorappan Rajasekaran, Srinivasan Sathyanarayanan, Niranjali S. Devaraj, Halagowder Devaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A decline in reduced glutathione (GSH) level is associated with aging and free radical mediated diseases. The objective of this study was to determine whether the chronic depletion of extra cellular GSH causes oxidative damage to the circulating macromolecules such as lipoproteins. Decreased concentrations of plasma glutathione, vitamin E and ascorbic acid were recorded in the rats treated with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a selective GSH inhibitor. In LDL isolated from BSO-treated animals, the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) and conjugated dienes were significantly increased (P<0.01), whereas the levels of vitamin E were decreased (P<0.01). The analysis of total and LDL cholesterol revealed significant changes between the control and experimental groups. Of interest, altered concentrations of lyso-phosphatidyl choline (Lyso-PC) and phosphatidyl choline (PC) were recorded from the BSO mediated minimally modified LDL. A negative correlation between LDL-BDC/MDA and its antioxidant capacity was noted. Upon in vitro oxidation with CuSO4, the electrophoretic behavior of purified LDL-apoprotein-B on agarose gel showed an increased mobility in BSO-treated rats, indicative of in vivo modification of LDL to become susceptible for in vitro oxidation. The increased mobility of LDL (after in vitro oxidation) isolated from the BSO-treated animals correlates with a decrease in its amino groups, as determined by the trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) reactants. However, the mobility of LDL molecule was not altered due to BSO treatment in vivo. Interestingly, the minimal modification on LDL does not lead to any vascular damage in the dorsal aorta of the rats injected with BSO. The administration of glutathione monoester (GME), at a dose of 5 mmol/kg body weight, twice a day, for 30 days, to animals treated with l-buthionine-SR-sulfoximine (BSO, 4 mmol/kg body weight, twice a day, for 30 days) normalized the antioxidant status and prevented the minimal modifications on LDL. Thus, increasing the cellular GSH levels may trigger beneficial effects against oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 30 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant-therapy
  • Atherogenesis
  • Buthionine sulfoximine
  • Glutathione monoester
  • LDL oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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