Effects of lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid on 4-aminophenol-mediated erythrocytic toxicity in vitro

Michael D. Coleman*, Charlotte Williams, Guido R.M.M. Haenen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of the antioxidant lipoic acid and its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), were studied on the process of the erythrocytic toxicity of 4-aminophenol in human erythrocytes in vitro. 4-Aminophenol alone caused a stepwise increase in methaemoglobin formation, along with a commensurate decrease in total thiols. At 10 min., in the presence of lipoic acid alone and the thiol depletor 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB) alone, 4-aminophenol-mediated methaemoglobin formation was significantly increased, whilst thiol levels were significantly reduced compared with the 4-aminophenol alone. At 10 min., with DHLA and CDNB alone, 4-aminophenol was associated with significantly increased methaemoglobin formation. However, thiol levels were not significantly different in the presence of DHLA compared with 4-aminophenol alone, although thiol levels were different compared with control (4-aminophenol alone) in the incubations with CDNB alone. At 15 min., only CDNB/4-aminophenol methaemoglobin formation differed from control, whilst thiol levels were significantly lower in the presence of CDNB alone compared with 4-aminophenol alone. Lipoic acid enhanced the toxicity of 4-aminophenol in terms of increased methaemoglobin formation coupled with increased thiol depletion, whilst DHLA showed increased 4-aminophenol-mediated methaemoglobin formation without thiol depletion. Lipoic acid, and to a lesser extent its reduced derivative DHLA, acted as a prooxidant in the presence of 4-aminophenol, enhancing the oxidative stress effects of the amine in human erythrocytes. © Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 2006.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalBasic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2006
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


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