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K R Hightower, J R Reddan, D C Dziedzic; Susceptibility of lens epithelial membrane SH groups to hydrogen peroxide.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(3):569-574.
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Although membrane SH groups are thought to be targets of oxidative insults, no measurement of lens epithelial membrane SH groups following exposure to potentially damaging oxidants has been reported. Here we investigate the effect of hydrogen peroxide, an oxidant found in the aqueous humor, and of p-chloromercuriphenylsulfonic acid (p-chloromecuribenzene-sulfonic acid) (PCMBS), a relatively impermeant sulfhydryl probe, on membrane SH groups and ion homeostasis in cultured lens epithelial cells. Exposure to PCMBS caused a 10% loss of membrane SH groups, an increase in sodium and calcium levels, and a decrease in potassium, but did not affect the intracellular level of glutathione (GSH). After 5 min of exposure to an initial concentration of 1.0 mM hydrogen peroxide, GSH declined from 14.1 mM to 3 mM, there was a 20% loss of membrane SH groups and within 1 hr, potassium declined from 132 to 116 mM. Cells that were exposed to 0.1 or 0.5 mM peroxide did not exhibit significant loss of membrane SH groups and did not show a decrease in GSH comparable to that found in cells treated with 1 mM peroxide. The peroxide induced loss of membrane SH groups and subsequent change in ion homeostasis occurred only when there was a rapid and sustained loss of intracellular glutathione. Thus lens epithelial cell membrane SH groups are not only important in ion regulation but are targets of hydrogen peroxide when the intracellular level of GSH is significantly diminished.
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