The possibility that liver metallothionein (MT) can function as an antioxidant in vivo has been studied in the rat. It was found that the stress of food and water deprivation with or without physical immobilization consistently increased liver lipid peroxidation (LLP), suggesting that liver MT induction by stress might be related to the stress-induced LLP. This was supported by results with the lipid peroxidation promoter dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and the natural antioxidant vitamin E. Whereas DMSO administration increased LLP levels in basal and stress situations, vitamin E decreased them. Liver MT levels were increased by DMSO in basal and stress situations, whereas they were decreased by vitamin E during stress. These in vivo results are consistent with an antioxidant role of liver MT suggested by previous in vitro results. However, liver MT preinduction by Zn treatment did not result in a lower MT response to stress. Instead a positive synergistic effect between Zn and stress appeared to be present. This result indicates that the mechanism of action of MT as antioxidant remains unclear.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1988|