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Ionol (BHT) Produces Superoxide Anion

E. G. Smirnova1, Yu. I. Lyubimov2, T. G. Malinina2, E. Yu. Lyubimova2, N. I. Alexandrushkina3, B. F. Vanyushin3, G. M. Kolesova3, and L. S. Yaguzhinsky3*

1Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Timiryazevskaya ul. 42, Moscow, 127550 Russia

2Scientific-Production Complex “Biotechindustry”, 2-i Spaso-Nalivkovsky Pereulok 6, Moscow, 119991 Russia

3Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119899 Russia; fax: (095) 939-3181; E-mail: yag@genebee.msu.su

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received November 8, 2001; Revision received December 17, 2001
In aqueous medium etiolated wheat seedlings release superoxide anion (O2·-). Interaction of a synthetic antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, ionol), with oxygen in the aqueous medium is accompanied by O2·- formation. This suggests that under certain conditions BHT behaves as a prooxidant. A natural antioxidant, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and also a wound healing preparation, emulsified denatured placenta (EDP), do not exhibit the prooxidant properties. In contrast to BHT, they reduce O2·- production by the etiolated wheat seedling system.
KEY WORDS: BHT, antioxidant, prooxidant, wheat seedlings, reactive oxygen species, superoxide