Dual effect of pyruvate in isolated nerve terminals: Generation of reactive oxygen species and protection of aconitase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in synaptosomes was investigated in the presence of different substrates. When pyruvate was used as a substrate an increased rate of hydrogen peroxide formation was detected by the Amplex Red fluorescent assay, but aconitase, which is known to be a highly sensitive enzyme to ROS was not inhibited. In contrast, pyruvate exerted a partial protection on aconitase against a time-dependent inactivation that occurred when synaptosomes were incubated in the absence of substrates. Disruption of synaptosomal membranes with Triton X-100 prevented the protective effect of pyruvate. It is suggested that citrate and/or isocitrate formed in the metabolism of pyruvate could be responsible for a partial protection of aconitase. Therefore while pyruvate could have a prooxidant effect it could also exert a protective effect on the aconitase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1338
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005



  • Aconitase
  • Amplex Red
  • Citrate
  • Free radicals
  • HO
  • Isocitrate
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pyruvate
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex
  • ROS
  • Synaptosomes
  • α-ketoglutarate
  • α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this