5-Methoxytryptophol preserves hepatic microsomal membrane fluidity during oxidative stress

J. J. García, R. J. Reiter, J. J. Cabrera, J. Pié, J. C. Mayo, R. M. Sáinz, D. X. Tan, W. Qi, D. Acuña-Castroviejo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Lipid peroxidation is a degenerative chain reaction in biological membranes that may be initiated by exposure to free radicals. This process is associated with changes in the membrane fluidity and loss of several cell membrane-dependent functions. 5-methoxytryptophol (ML) is an indole isolated from the mammalian pineal gland. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ML (0.01mM-10mM) on membrane fluidity modulated by lipid peroxidation. Hepatic microsomes obtained from rats were incubated with or without ML (0.01-10 mM). Then lipid peroxidation was induced by FeCl3, ADP, and NADPH. Membrane fluidity was determined using fluorescence spectroscopy. Malonaldehyde (MDA) +4-hydroxyalkenals (4-HDA) concentrations were estimated as an indicator of the degree of lipid peroxidation. With oxidative stress, membrane fluidity decreased and MDA+4-HDA levels increased. ML (0.01-3 mM) reduced membrane rigidity and the rise in MDA+4-HDA formation in a concentration-dependent manner. 10 mM ML protected against lipid peroxidation but failed to prevent the membrane rigidity. In the absence of oxidative reagents, ML (0.3-10 mM) decreased membrane fluidity whereas MDA+4-HDA levels remained unchanged. This indicates that ML may interact with membrane lipids. The results presented here suggest that ML may be another pineal indoleamine (in addition to melatonin) that resists membrane rigidity due to lipid peroxidation. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 16 2000


  • 5-methoxytryptophol
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Membrane fluidity
  • Microsome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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