Effect of magnolol on in vitro mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and isolated cold-preserved warm-reperfused rat livers

J Surg Res. 1999 Mar;82(1):11-6. doi: 10.1006/jsre.1998.5455.


Background/aim: A mechanism suggested to cause injury to preserved organs is the generation of oxygen free radicals. Lipid peroxidation is one of the biological damages caused by oxygen free radicals. It is our aim to investigate whether magnolol, a strong antioxidant, suppresses the generation of oxygen free radicals and improves the viability of cold-preserved warm-reperfused rat livers.

Materials and methods: In vitro lipid peroxidation was induced in rat hepatic mitochondria with ADP and FeSO4. The inhibitory effect of magnolol on lipid peroxidation was measured with oxygen consumption and malondialdehyde (MDA) formation. Subsequently, we preserved and reperfused rat livers in preservation solutions that contained magnolol. The hepatic enzymes and liver MDA were measured to assess the protective effect of magnolol on isolated rat livers.

Results: In rat hepatic mitochondria, magnolol was 470 times more potent than alpha-tocopherol in inhibiting oxygen consumption and 340 times more potent than alpha-tocopherol in inhibiting MDA formation. Addition of magnolol to Ringer's lactate solution had a protective effect, in terms of MDA formation and leakage of hepatic enzymes, on warm-reperfused but not cold-stored liver tissue. Addition of magnolol to University of Wisconsin (UW) solution, a widely used preservation solution, did not modify the effect of this solution on isolated liver tissues.

Conclusions: We conclude that magnolol is an effective antioxidant and suppresses lipid peroxidation in rat liver mitochondria and can be used as a rinsing solution in protecting transplanted organs from lipid peroxidation during reperfusion, especially for those organs not preserved with UW solution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Cold Temperature
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lignans*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / injuries*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Organ Preservation
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Lignans
  • magnolol
  • Vitamin E
  • Malondialdehyde