Tempol is a stable nitroxide radical that has been shown to protect laboratory animals from the injury associated with conditions of oxidative and nitrosoactive stress. Tempol's protective mechanisms against reactive oxygen species have been extensively studied, but its interactions with reactive nitrogen species remain little explored. Recently, it has been shown that tempol is a potent inhibitor of peroxynitrite-mediated phenol nitration while it increases phenol nitrosation by a complex mechanism [Carrol et al. (2000) Chem. Res. Toxicol. 13, 294]. To obtain further mechanistic insights, we reexamined the interaction of peroxynitrite with tempol in the absence and presence of carbon dioxide. Stopped-flow kinetic studies confirmed that tempol does not react directly with peroxynitrite but levels off the amount of oxygen (monitored with an oxygen electrode) and nitrite (monitored by chemiluminescence) produced from peroxynitrite in the presence and absence of carbon dioxide to about 30% and 70% of the initial oxidant concentration at pH 5.4, 6.4, and 7.4. Tempol inhibited phenol nitration while increasing the amounts of 4-nitrosophenol, that attained yields close to 30% of the peroxynitrite in the presence of carbon dioxide at pH 7.4. Fast-flow EPR experiments showed detectable changes in the instantaneous tempol concentration (maximum of 15%) only in the presence of carbon dioxide. Under these conditions, the instantaneous concentration of the carbonate radical anion was reduced by tempol in a concentration-dependent manner. The results indicate that tempol is oxidized by peroxynitrite-derived radicals (·OH and CO3·-, in the absence and presence of carbon dioxide, respectively) to the oxoammonium cation which, in turn, is reduced back to tempol while oxidizing peroxynitrite to oxygen and nitric oxide. The latter reacts rapidly with peroxynitrite-derived nitrogen dioxide to produce the nitrosating species, dinitrogen trioxide. Overall, the results support a role for peroxynitrite and its derived radicals in the tissue pathology associated with inflammatory conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas