Enhancement of hydroxyl radical generation in the Fenton reaction by alpha-hydroxy acid. Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1998 Sep;46(1):137-45.

Ali MA, Konishi T.

Department of Radiochemistry-Biophysics, Niigata College of Pharmacy, Japan

The effect of various organic acids on hydroxyl radical (.OH) generation in the Fenton reaction were examined by the ESR spin trapping technique, where 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyroline-N-nitroxide (DMPO) and alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN) were used as the spin trapping reagents. alpha-Hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, glycolic acid and 2-hydroxy isobutyric acid were found to markedly enhance .OH generation in the reaction. In contrast, beta-hydroxy acid, alpha-keto acid, esters of alpha-hydroxy acids, aldehydes and other straight chain organic acids had no such enhancing activity. alpha-Amino acids had also no enhancing effect. The results suggest that the alpha-hydroxy acid moiety is prerequisite for the enhancement of .OH generation in the Fenton reaction. Superoxide dismutase did not inhibit the enhancing effect of alpha-hydroxy acids whereas catalase completely inhibited the .OH generation. Thus, alpha-hydroxy acids directly enhanced the .OH generation via the Fenton reaction but not the Haber-Weiss reaction. Possible role of lactic acid manipulating .OH generation is discussed in relation to the ischemia-reperfusion cell damage.