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Sodium Nitrate Induces Reactive Oxygen Species That Lower the Antioxidant Power, Damage the Membrane, and Alter Pathways of Glucose Metabolism in Human Erythrocytes

Ansari, Fariheen Aisha, Mahmood, Riaz
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.48 pp. 10372-10379
antioxidant activity, drinking water, enzymes, erythrocytes, fertilizers, food additives, glucose, glutathione, humans, lipid peroxidation, metabolism, oxidation, probability, reactive oxygen species, sodium nitrate, water pollution, water supply
Nitrate salts are widely used as food additives and nitrogenous fertilizers and are present as contaminants in drinking water supplies. The effect of different concentrations (1–15 mM) of sodium nitrate (NaNO3) on human erythrocytes was studied under in vitro conditions. Treatment of erythrocytes with NaNO3 resulted in increases in methemoglobin levels, lipid peroxidation, and protein oxidation and a decrease in glutathione content. There were changes in the activities of all major antioxidant defense enzymes, and the pathways of glucose metabolism were also affected. Increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) took place while the antioxidant power was impaired. The osmotic fragility of cells was increased, and membrane-bound enzymes were greatly inhibited. All changes were statistically significant at a probability level of P < 0.05 at all concentrations of NaNO3 except the lowest (1 mM). Thus, NaNO3 generates ROS that cause significant damage to human erythrocytes and interfere in normal cellular pathways.