Sites and mechanisms of low-level oxidative stress in cultured cells

Dan Gelvan, Veronica Moreno, David A. Clopton, Qin Chen, Paul Saltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress is involved in a multitude of pathological conditions. In the present study, we investigated the cellular targets and the mechanisms of low-level oxidative stress in a Chinese Hamster Ovary cell culture. Oxidative stress was induced either by continuous enzymatic production of superoxide or by bolus addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Low-level oxidative stress irreversibly impaired the reproductive capacity of the cells in the absence of damage to membrane integrity or energy metabolism. Cells were protected by catalase but not by superoxide dismutase, indicating that H2O2 not superoxide, was the causative agent of cell damage. Nitroxide spin labels decreased hydroxyl radical (•OH) formation and protected cells from the oxidative stress. The differing membrane permeabilities of these spin labels suggest that the damage is localized on the cell surface. Oxidative stress to DNA and RNA was not significant, as shown by levels of guanine hydroxylation products. A mechanism is proposed whereby low-level oxidative stress acts at the cell surface to cause impairment of cell reproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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