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Radiation Peroxidation in Model Membranes

  • J. A. Raleigh

Abstract

The potential for chain reaction decomposition puts unsaturated lipids among the most radiosensitive of biological molecules. The possibility that radiation peroxidation of unsaturated lipids in biological membranes might underlie some of the biological effects of ionizing radiation has prompted a number of studies of radiation-induced lipid peroxidation. In model membranes the hydroxyl radical (OH) from water radiolysis initiates peroxidation which proceeds without a lag phase. The process is dose-rate dependent, with peroxidation increasing with decreasing dose rate. In spite of the fact that OH initiates peroxidation, not all OH scavengers inhibit peroxidation. Secondary peroxy radicals from the OH scavengers might in some cases (e.g., dimethylsulfoxide, DMSO) initiate peroxidation as efficiently as OH radicals. An additional important feature of radiation-induced lipid peroxidation is that approximately 60% of the peroxides formed in linoleic acid (18: 2) are diene-conjugated hydroperoxides, whereas in linolenic acid (18: 3) these are minor products even though overall oxygen consumptions are similar for the two unsaturated fatty acids. The difference in product distribution can be accounted for, in part, by the formation of malonaldehyde-type products in linolenic acid. The formation of these products is also subject to the paradoxical effect of OH scavengers. Antioxidants such as vitamin E remove the paradoxical OH scavenger effect. Studies like these can be instructive in unravelling the effects of ionizing radiation on biological membranes. For example, we have concluded from these studies that the paradoxical effect of the OH scavenger dimethylsulfoxide on erythrocyte hemolysis arises in the lipid component of the plasma membrane and is due to secondary peroxy radicals formed from dimethylsulfoxide. The effect appears to occur in the initial stages of radiation damage and precedes the extensive autoxidative degradation of membrane lipids that parallels hemolysis during the postirradiation incubation period.

Keywords

High Performance Liquid Chromatography Unsaturated Fatty Acid Critical Micelle Concentration Mixed Micelle Lipid Hydroperoxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Raleigh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiobiologyCross Cancer InstituteEdmontonCanada

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