The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 79–88 | Cite as

Some studies on lipid peroxidation in monomolecular and bimolecular lipid films

  • H. Van Zutphen
  • David G. Cornwell


Hydrogen peroxide generated from dissolved oxygen through the alloxandialuric acid cycle affected both the permeability and the stability of lipid bilayer membranes. The permeability of the artificial membranes varied directly with the hydrogen peroxide concentration. Membrane stability varied inversely with the hydrogen peroxide concentration. Bilayers formed from solutions containing both phospholipid and the antioxidant vitamin E were less permeable and more stable in the presence of hydrogen peroxide than bilayers generated from solutions containing phospholipid alone. Peroxidation of phospholipid monolayers caused first an expansion of the films presumably through the introduction of peroxide groups. Further oxidation of phospholipid monolayers led to contraction of the films presumably through the formation of water-soluble products. The results of the monolayer studies and a consideration of the possible kinetics for the peroxidation reaction sequence have been used to explain the changes in the permeability and the stability of lipid bilayer membranes. Our data suggest that oxidation of lipid in biological membranes may first increase membrane permeability and then decrease membrane stability.


Lipid Peroxide Lipid Peroxidation Human Physiology Membrane Permeability 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Van Zutphen
    • 1
  • David G. Cornwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological ChemistryOhio State UniversityColumbus

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