OBJECTIVES: The study presents results of pro- and anti-oxidative effects of D-penicillamine on hyaluronan degradation by ascorbate plus cupric ions.
METHODS: The well established degradative system comprising high-molar-mass hyaluronan and ascorbate plus Cu(II) ions was used. Primarily, the effects of replacement of ascorbic acid in this system by D-penicillamine were investigated. Then, D-penicillamine was added into the above degradative system before reaction onset or 1h after the reaction had started. To monitor hyaluronan degradation kinetics, rotational viscometry was applied.
RESULTS: No hyaluronan degradation occurred when ascorbate was replaced by D-penicillamine. The drug addition into the complete degradative system at the reaction onset caused a marked inhibition of hyaluronan degradation. However, the inhibitory effect turned to a pro-oxidative one within appr. 1 h.
CONCLUSION: The dual behavior of D-penicillamine on hyaluronan degradation can relate to: (i) the drug completely traps *OH radicals generated from ascorbate plus Cu(II) ions under aerobic conditions; (ii) thiyl radicals generated from D-penicillamine react with D-penicillamine anions resulting in novel radical reactive species, which e.g. by reducing dioxygen molecules can generate further *OH radicals.