Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

L. H. Piette


L. H. Piette


Roger Coulombe


William Brindley


Jack Spence


Vanadium compounds have been reported to cause numerous toxicological effects including NAD(P)H oxidation and lipid peroxidation. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the active form of vanadium in causing these effects, and to determine any possible free radical involvement in these processes. Vanadium-stimulated oxidation of NADH was studied spectrophotometrically and by electron spin resonance spectroscopy. In 25 mM sodium phosphate buffer at pH 7. 4, vanadyl, (V(IV)), is slightly more effective in stimulating NADH oxidation than was vanadate (V(V)). Addition of a superoxide generating system, xanthine/xanthine oxidase, results in a marked increase in NADH oxidation by vanadyl, and to a lesser extent, by vanadate. In contrast, addition of hydrogen peroxide did not change the NADH oxidation by vanadate, but greatly enhanced NADH oxidation by vanadyl. Use of the spin trap DMPO in reaction mixtures containing vanadyl and hydrogen peroxide or a superoxide generating system resulted in the detection by ESR of hydroxyl radical. Hydroxyl radical was also detected in the system containing vanadate plus superoxide. It was found that superoxide is capable of reducing vanadate to vanadyl, and that vanadyl is capable of reaction with hydrogen peroxide in a Fenton-like mechanism to produce hydroxyl radical. Hydroxyl radical is suggested to be the active species involved in NADH oxidation. Other reductants, such as thiols, are also capable of supporting vanadate-stimulated NADH oxidation. The above results indicat that ability of vanadium to act in a Fenton-like mechanism is an important process in the vanadium-stimulated oxidation of NADH.

Vanadyl was found to be the active form of vanadium involved in initiating and stimulating lipid peroxidation in purified and partially purified fatty acid micelle preparations. Hydroxyl radicals were shown to be involved in initiating diene conjugation when vanadyl and hydrogen peroxide were added together in the reaction mixture. Furthermore, hydroxyl radicals were shown to be generated in the vanadyl-catalyzed decomposition of fatty acid lipoperoxides.

The results of this study indicat that the ability of vanadium compounds to oxidize NADH and to stimulate lipid peroxidation are related by the common mechanism of hydroxyl radical production from the reaction of vanadyl with hydrogen peroxide.



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