The lactate-dependent enhancement of hydroxyl radical generation by the Fenton reaction

M. Aktar Ali, Fumihiko Yasui, Seiichi Matsugo, Tetsuya Konishi

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The effect of lactic acid (lactate) on Fenton based hydroxyl radical (·OH) production was studied by spin trapping, ESR, and fluorescence methods using DMPO and coumarin-3-carboxylic acid (3-CCA) as the ·OH traps respectively. The ·OH adduct formation was inhibited by lactate up to 0.4 mM (lactate/iron stoichiometry = 2) in both experiments, but markedly enhanced with increasing concentrations of lactate above this critical concentration. When the H2O2 dependence was examined, the DMPO-OH signal was increased linearly with H2O2 concentration up to 1 mM and then saturated in the absence of lactate. In the presence of lactate, however, the DMPO-OH signal was increased further with higher H2O2 concentration than 1 mM, and the saturation level was also increased dependent on lactate concentration. Spectroscopic studies revealed that lactate forms a stable colored complex with Fe3+ at lactate/Fe3+ stoichiometry of 2, and the complex formation was strictly related to the DMPO-OH formation. The complex formation did not promote the H2O2 mediated Fe3+ reduction. When the Fe3+-lactate (1: 2) complex was reacted with H2O2, the initial rate of hydroxylated 3-CCA formation was linearly increased with H2O2 concentrations. All the data obtained in the present experiments suggested that the Fe3+-lactate (1:2) complex formed in the Fenton reaction system reacts directly with H2O2 to produce additional ·OH in the Fenton reaction by other mechanisms than lactate or lactate/Fe3+ mediated promotion of Fe3+/Fe2+ redox cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Fe-lactate complex
  • Fenton reaction
  • Generation
  • Lactic acid
  • Spin trapping ESR
  • ·OH
  • ·OH enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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