The effect of oxidants on biomembranes and cellular metabolism

Satish K. Srivastava, Naseem H. Ansari, Siqi Liu, Anja Izban, Ballabh Das, Gabor Szabo, Aruni Bhatnagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


During the reductive process in the tissues, the aerobes generate a number of oxidants. Unless these oxidants are reduced, oxidative damage and cell death would occur. Oxidation of plasma membrane lipids leads to autocatalytic chain reactions which eventually alter the permeability of the cell. The role of oxidative damage in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications and ischemic reperfusion injury of myocardium, especially the changes in the channel activity which may lead to arrhythmia have been studied. Hyperglycemia activates aldose reductase which could efficiently reduce glucose to sorbitol in the presence of NADPH. Since NADPH is also aldose required by glutathione reductase for reducing oxidants, its diversion would lead to membrane lipid oxidation and permeability changes which are probably responsible for diabetic complications such as cataractogenesis, retinopathy, neuropathy etc. Antioxidants such as butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT) and also reductase inhibitors prevent or delay some of these complications. By using patch-clamp technique in isolated frog myocytes, we have shown that hydroxy radicals generated by ferrous sulfate and ascorbate as well as lipid peroxides such as t-butyl hydroperoxide facilitate the entry of Na+ by oxidizing Na+-channels. Increased intracellular Na+ leads to an increase in Na+/Ca2+ exchange. The increased Na+ concentration by itself may produce electrical disturbance which would result in arrhythmia. Increased Ca2+ may affect proteases and may help in the conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase to xanthine oxidase, consequently increased production of super oxide radicals. Increased membrane lipid peroxidation and other oxygen free-radical associated membrane damage in myocytes has been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomembranes
  • aldose reductase
  • antioxidants
  • cataractogenesis
  • diabetes
  • ischemic reperfusion injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of oxidants on biomembranes and cellular metabolism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this