Antioxidant action of persulfides and polysulfides against free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation

Takayuki Kaneko, Yuichiro Mita, Kanako Nozawa-Kumada, Masana Yazaki, Mieko Arisawa, Etsuo Niki, Noriko Noguchi, Yoshiro Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen sulfide, hydropersulfides, and hydropolysulfides have been revealed to play important physiological roles such as cell signaling and protection against oxidative stress, but the underlying mechanisms and dynamics of action remain elusive. It is generally accepted that these species act by two-electron redox mechanisms, while the involvement of one-electron redox chemistry has received less attention. In this study, the radical-scavenging activity of hydrogen persulfide, hydrogen polysulfides (HSnH n = 2–4), and diallyl- or dialkyl-sulfides (RSnR, n = 1–4) was measured. Furthermore, their antioxidant effects against free radical-mediated human plasma lipid peroxidation were assessed by measuring lipid hydroperoxides. It was found that disodium disulfide, trisulfide, and tetrasulfide acted as potent peroxyl radical scavengers, the rate constant for scavenging peroxyl radical being 3.5 × 105, 4.0 × 105, and 6.0 × 105 M−1 s−1 in PBS pH 7.4 at 37 °C respectively and that they inhibited plasma lipid peroxidation efficiently, the efficacy is increased with the catenation number. Disodium tetrasulfide was 1.5 times as reactive as Trolox toward peroxyl radical and inhibited plasma lipid peroxidation more efficiently than ascorbate and Trolox. On the other hand, diallyl- and dialkyl-sulfides did not exert significant radical-scavenging activity, nor did they inhibit lipid peroxidation efficiently, except for diallyl tetrasulfide, which suppressed plasma lipid peroxidation, despite less significantly than disodium tetrasulfide. Collectively, this study shows that hydrogen persulfide and hydrogen polysulfides act as potent radical-scavenging antioxidants and that, in addition to two-electron redox mechanisms, one electron redox reaction may also play important role in the in vivo defense against deleterious oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-690
Number of pages14
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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