Is α-lipoic acid a scavenger of reactive oxygen species in vivo? Evidence for its initiation of stress signaling pathways that promote endogenous antioxidant capacity

Kate Petersen Shay, Régis F. Moreau, Eric J. Smith, Tory M. Hagen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

133 Scopus citations

Abstract

The chemical reduction and oxidation (redox) properties of a-lipoic acid (LA) suggest that it may have potent antioxidant potential. A significant number of studies now show that LA and its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA), directly scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) species and protect cells against a host of insults where oxidative stress is part of the underlying etiology. However, owing to its limited and transient accumulation in tissues following oral intake, the efficacy of nonprotein-bound LA to function as a physiological antioxidant has been questioned. Herein, we review the evidence that the micronutrient functions of LA may be more as an effector of important cellular stress response pathways that ultimately influence endogenous cellular antioxidant levels and reduce proinflammatory mechanisms. This would promote a sustained improvement in cellular resistance to pathologies where oxidative stress is involved, which would not be forthcoming if LA solely acted as a transient ROS scavenger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalIUBMB Life
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antioxidant
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reduction/oxidation
  • Thiols
  • α-lipoic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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