Peroxynitrite-mediated oxidative damage to brain mitochondria: Protective effects of peroxynitrite scavengers

Indrapal N. Singh, Patrick G. Sullivan, Edward D. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Peroxynitrite-mediated oxidative damage has been implicated in brain mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction after traumatic brain injury (TBI), which precedes the onset of neuronal loss. The aim of this study was to investigate the detrimental effects of the peroxynitrite donor SIN-1 (3- morpholinosydnonimine) on isolated brain mitochondria and to screen penicillamine, a stoichiometric (1:1) peroxynitrite-scavenging agent, and tempol, a catalytic scavenger of peroxynitrite-derived radicals, as antioxidant mitochondrial protectants. Exposure of the isolated mitochondria to SIN-1 caused a significant dose-dependent decrease in the respiratory control ratio and was accompanied by a significant increase in state II respiration, followed by significant decreases (P < 0.05) in states III and V. These functional alterations occurred together with significant increases in mitochondrial protein carbonyl (PC), lipid peroxidation-related 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) content. Penicillamine hydrochloride (10 μM) partially but significantly (P < 0.05) protected against SIN-1-induced decreases in states III and V. However, a 2.5 μM concentration of tempol was able to significantly antagonize a 4-fold molar excess (10 μM) concentration of SIN-1 as effectively as were higher tempol concentrations, consistent with the likelihood that tempol works by a catalytic mechanism. The protection of mitochondrial respiration by penicillamine and tempol occurred in parallel with attenuation of PC, 4-HNE, and 3-NT. These results indicate that SIN-1 causes mitochondrial oxidative damage and complex I dysfunction and that antioxidant compounds that target either peroxynitrite or its radicals may be effective mitochondrial protectants in the treatment of neural injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2216-2223
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative damage
  • Penicillamine
  • Peroxynitrite
  • Tempol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Peroxynitrite-mediated oxidative damage to brain mitochondria: Protective effects of peroxynitrite scavengers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this