Vitamin A Inhibits Doxorubicin-Induced Membrane Lipid Peroxidation in Rat Tissues in Vivo

Marcello Ciaccio, Luisa Tesoriere, Renato Albiero, Mario Valenza, Antonino Bongiorno

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The antioxidant activity of vitamin A against lipid peroxidation induced by doxorubicin in rat tissues in vivo was investigated. A single ip injection of doxorubicin (30 mg/kg body wt) markedly raised the level of peroxidated lipids measured as TBARS and conjugated dienes in heart and brain membrane preparations. Other tissues, such as retina and liver, did not show any increase of lipid peroxides over control values. Pretreatment of rats with two daily subcutaneous injections of retinol palmitate (0.25 g/kg body wt), for 2 days, before injecting doxorubicin, inhibited peroxidation of heart and brain membrane lipids. The antioxidant action of vitamin A does not appear to be mediated by enhancement of antioxidant enzyme activities committed to detoxify oxygen radicals. Superoxide dismutase and catalase, measured in heart and brain cytosol, were not affected by the vitamin A treatment. On the contrary, a slight increase of catalase activity was observed in heart and brain cytosol from rats that had been treated with doxorubicin. Excess vitamin A may be localized in membranes. Appreciable increase of retinyl esters and retinol was measured in membrane preparations from rats that had been treated with vitamin A, with respect to control animals. Brain and heart membrane preparations from rats receiving vitamin A, assayed in vitro in the presence of an Fe3+ ascorbate induction system, showed a delay at the beginning of the lipid peroxidation and generated lesser amounts of TBARS, with respect to membranes from control rats. Thus, the increase of vitamin A within cell membranes results in an increased resistance of membrane lipids to peroxidation, both endogenously produced and induced in vitro. These results may be consistent with the hypothesis that vitamin A may act as a physiological antioxidant in cell membranes where it is localized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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