Effect of pyruvate on oxidant injury to isolated and cellular DNA

Karl A. Nath, Helen Enright, Louise Nutter, Michael Fischereder, Jing Nan Zou, Robert P. Hebbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Drawing upon the capacity of pyruvate to detoxify H2O2, we demonstrate that pyruvate (i) protects against H2O2-dependent, hydroxyl radical mediated degradation of isolated DNA; (ii) reduces the amount of 8-hydroxy- 2-deoxyguanosine detected following oxidative injury to isolated DNA and (iii) diminishes the amounts of detectable hydroxyl radical generated by a H2O2-dependent system. Compared to mannitol, pyruvate protects weakly against oxidative degradation of DNA induced by a H2O2-independent, hydroxyl radical-generating system. The protective effects of pyruvate against H2O2-instigated DNA damage were also evinced in cells in culture exposed to H2O2. In contrast to its protective effects against H2O2- dependent injury to DNA, pyruvate failed to offer convincing protection to another intracellular, H2O2-vulnerable target, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. The protection conferred by pyruvate to intracellular H2O2- vulnerable targets is thus influenced by the nature of the target exposed to H2O2. Pyruvate was markedly protective in a model of cytotoxicity induced by the concomitant depletion of cellular glutathione and inhibition of catalase activity; pyruvate can thus function as an intracellular antioxidant and in this latter model, no evidence of DNA damage was observed. Pyruvate, in contrast to catalase, is a potent protector against cytotoxicity induced by organic peroxides, a finding that cannot be explained by the scavenging of organic peroxides, differences in glutathione content or attenuation in oxidative injury to DNA. We conclude that while DNA damage is a key pathogenetic event in oxidative stress induced by H2O2, such nuclear changes may not universally subserve a critical role in models of H2O2- dependent cell death. We also conclude that the antioxidant capabilities of pyruvate extend beyond scavenging of H2O2 to include potent protection against cytotoxicity induced by organic peroxides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-176
Number of pages11
JournalKidney international
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of pyruvate on oxidant injury to isolated and cellular DNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this