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Differential regulation of tissue thiol-disulfide redox status in a murine model of peritonitis

Shana M Benton13*, Zhe Liang2, Li Hao13, Youngliang Liang13, Gautam Hebbar13, Dean P Jones13, Craig M Coopersmith2 and Thomas R Ziegler13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322-0001, USA

2 Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322-0001, USA

3 Center for Clinical and Molecular Nutrition, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 30322-0001, USA

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Journal of Inflammation 2012, 9:36  doi:10.1186/1476-9255-9-36

Published: 4 October 2012



Glutathione (GSH)/glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and cysteine (Cys)/cystine (CySS) are major redox pools with important roles in cytoprotection. We determined the impact of septic peritonitis on thiol-disulfide redox status in mice.


FVB/N mice (6–12 week old; 8/group) underwent laparotomy with cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) or laparotomy alone (control). Sections of ileum, colon, lung and liver were obtained and GSH, GSSG, Cys and CySS concentrations determined by HPLC 24 h after laparotomy. Redox potential [Eh in millivolts (mV)] of the GSH/GSSG and Cys/CySS pools was calculated using the Nernst equation. Data were analyzed by ANOVA (mean ± SE).


GSH/GSSG Eh in ileum, colon, and liver was significantly oxidized in septic mice versus control mice (ileum: septic −202±4 versus control −228±2 mV; colon: -195±8 versus −214±1 mV; and liver: -194±3 vs. -210±1 mV, all P<0.01). Lung GSH/GSSG redox was similar in each group (−191±3 versus −190±2 mV). In contrast, ileal and colonic Cys/CySS Eh was unchanged with CLP, while liver and lung Cys/CySS Eh became significantly more reducing (liver: septic = −103±3 versus control −90±2 mV; lung: -101±5 versus −81±1 mV, each P<0.05).


Septic peritonitis induced by CLP oxidizes ileal and colonic GSH/GSSG redox but Cys/CySS Eh remains unchanged in these intestinal tissues. In liver, CLP oxidizes the GSH/GSSG redox pool and CyS/CySS Eh becomes more reducing; in lung, CLP does not alter GSH/GSSG Eh, and Cys/CySS Eh is less oxidized. CLP-induced infection/inflammation differentially regulates major thiol-disulfide redox pools in this murine model.

Cysteine; Glutathione; Peritonitis; Redox; Sepsis