The degradative action of peroxynitrite on high-molecular-weight hyaluronan.

OBJECTIVES: This contribution presents the results of the kinetics of HA degradation by peroxynitrite, which represents one of the main reactive oxygen species degrading various biomacromolecules under inflammatory conditions.

METHODS: Two simple procedures have been adapted to prepare sodium peroxynitrite: the first containing an excess of H(2)O(2), and the second in which the H(2)O(2) excess had been decomposed by MnO(2) treatment. The kinetics of hyaluronan degradation by action of peroxynitrite was monitored by rotational viscometry.

RESULTS: High-molecular-weight hyaluronan was degraded by peroxynitrite. The degradation was increased in the presence of ONOO(-) previously treated by MnO(2) in order to remove residual hydrogen peroxide. One of the reasons of this finding could be that by the action of the residual metal the pathway of ONOO(-) decomposition starts to be manifested immediately on mixing traces of metals originally present in the HA sample with the ions of manganese.

CONCLUSIONS: Trace amounts of transition metal(s) should be taken into consideration on evaluating the experimental results. Purchase of the marketed peroxynitrite product appears to be the appropriate approach to simplify and standardize the quality of ONOONa.