Antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities of p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol and vanillin: effects on free radicals, brain peroxidation and degradation of benzoate, deoxyribose, amino acids and DNA

Author: Liu, J.; Mori, A.

Description: We examined the antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities of p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol (p-HBA), the major component of Gastrodia elata Bl. (GE), and compared them with those of vanillin, which is also a component of GE and a known antioxidant. Both p-HBA and vanillin are powerful scavengers of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrozyl, superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. Like vanillin, p-HBA also inhibits iron-dependent lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenate, microsomes and mitochondria. In addition, p-HBA and vanillin in a dose-dependent fashion inhibit Fe(II)-H2O2-induced damage to benzoate, deoxyribose, glutamic acid, 2-aminobutyric acid and methionine, as well as benzoate hydroxylation. Vanillin has a pro-oxidant effect on Fe(III)-superoxide-induced damage to benzoate, deoxyribose, amino acids and benzoate hydroxylation, whereas p-HBA shows no pro-oxidant activity in the system. Vanillin and p-HBA stimulate bleomycin-iron-dependent damage to DNA only at very high concentrations. These findings suggest that the antioxidant effect of GE extract in the rat brain may result from the antioxidant actions of p-HBA and other phenolic compounds such as vanillin at the cellular and molecular level in brain.

Subject headings: Amino Acids/metabolism; Animals; Anticonvulsants/pharmacology; Antioxidants/pharmacology; Benzaldehydes/pharmacology; Benzoates/metabolism; Benzyl Alcohols/pharmacology; Bleomycin/pharmacology; Brain Chemistry/drug effects; DNA/metabolism; Deoxyribose/metabolism; Free Radicals/metabolism; Hypnotics and Sedatives/pharmacology; In Vitro Techniques; Iron/metabolism; Lipid Peroxidation/drug effects; Male; Microsomes/drug effects/metabolism; Mitochondria/drug effects/metabolism; Oxidants/pharmacology; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Superoxides/metabolism

Publication year: 1993

Journal or book title: Neuropharmacology

Volume: 32

Issue: 7

Pages: 659-669

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2909