The protective effect of stable nitroxide radicals against oxidative damage was studied using cardiomyocyte cultures obtained from newborn rats. Monolayered cardiomyocytes were exposed to H2O2 and the effect on spontaneous beating and leakage of LDH was determined. Hydrogen peroxide irreversibly blocked rhythmic beating and resulted in a significant membrane injury as shown by release of LDH. The injury was prevented by catalase which removes H2O2 and by cell-permeable, metal-chelating agents such as desferrioxamine or bipyridine. In contrast, reagents which are excluded from the cell such as superoxide dismutase or DTPA did not protect the cells against H2O2. Five- and six-membered ring, stable nitroxide radicals which have previously been shown to chemically act as low-molecular weight, membrane-permeable, SOD-mimetic compounds provided full protection. The nitroxides prevented leakage of LDH and preserved normal cardiomyocyte contractility, presumably by intercepting intracellular O2-radicals. Alternatively, protection may result through nitroxides reacting with reduced transition metal ions or by detoxifying secondary organic radicals.
A Samuni, D Winkelsberg, A Pinson, S M Hahn, J B Mitchell, A Russo