Hydrogen peroxide and ischemic renal injury: Effect of catalase inhibition

Mark S. Paller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Although reactive oxygen species are believed to participate in postischemic renal injury, the actual chemical species involved and the role of endogenous scavenging systems in protecting against injury requires additional study. Hydrogen peroxide, which derives from superoxide radical, is toxic and also yields toxic hydroxyl radical. 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole reacts with catalase to form irreversibly inactivated catalase only in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. We made use of this chemical reaction both to determine whether inhibition of the hydrogen peroxide-scavenging enzyme catalase would influence ischemic renal injury and to measure hydrogen peroxide production rates after ischemia. Sprague-Dawley rats were given aminotriazole (100 mg/kg) one hour before 40 min of renal ischemia. Twenty-four h after ischemia GFR had decreased to 300 μL/min in control animals and to 50 μL/min in aminotriazole-treated animals. Histologic evidence of injury was also worse in catalase-inhibited animals. To measure hydrogen peroxide production rates aminotriazole was given 60 min before measurement of renal catalase activity. In control animals, aminotriazole caused a 53.4% decrease in catalase activity. In animals subjected to 40 min of ischemia plus either 10 ot 60 min of reflow catalase activity decreased by 33.9 and 49.5% (not significantly different from control). Thus, when measured by this method total renal hydrogen peroxide production was considerable but was not increased by ischemia. However, in isolated proximal tubule segments 60 min of anoxia and 30 min of reoxygenation caused a 42% increase in H2O2 released into the incubation medium. In summary, inhibition of catalase before ischemia led to exacerbation of ischemic injury. Hydrogen peroxide production occurs in normal as well as ischemic kidneys although the intracellular sites and rates of production are probably different. Catalase is an essential protective enzyme since its inhibition led to exaggerated postischemic dysfunction of the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements --Mrs. Rita Suek assisted in preparing the manuscript. This work was supported, in part, by National Institutes of Health grant HL-17871.


  • Aminotriazole
  • Free radicals
  • Isolated proximal tubules
  • Rat
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Reperfusion


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