Endogenous peroxynitrite is involved in the inhibition of mitochondrial respiration in immuno-stimulated J774.2 macrophages

Csaba Szabó, Andrew L. Salzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


The free radicals nitric oxide (NO) and surperoxide (O2-) are known to react to form peroxynitrite (ONOO-), a potentially more injurious species. Here we compared the inhibitory effects of ONOO- and NO on mitochondrial respiration in J774.2 macrophages. In addition, using uric acid, a potent scavenger of ONOO-, we investigated the potential involvement of endogenous ONOO- in the inhibitory effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and γ-interferon (IFN) on mitochondrial respiration. The NO donors S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine (SNAP, 1 mM) or diethylamine NONOate (DN, 1 mM) inhibited cellular respiration by approximately 30% over 24h. Equimolar amounts of ONOO- caused a more pronounced inhibition of cell respiration. There was a synergistic effect between the O2 - generator pyrogallol (10 μM-1 mM) and the NO donor SNAP (1 mM) in inhibiting mitochondrial respiration. The ONOO- scavenger uric acid (UA, 1 mM) did not prevent the decrease in viability in response to SNAP, DN or pyrogallol, but significantly prevented the decrease in cell viability in response to ONOO-, to the combination of SNAP and pyrogallol, and to SIN-1, a compound that simultaneously generates NO and O2-. The decrease in mitochondrial respiration in response to LPS and IFN was also inhibited by UA as well as by NG-methyl-arginine, an inhibitor of NOS. Thus, ONOO- is a more potent suppressant of mitochondrial respiration than NO and endogenous formation of ONOO- appears to be involved in the cytotoxicity associated with immune stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-743
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 17 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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