Glutathione metabolism and its role in hepatotoxicity

Pharmacol Ther. 1991 Dec;52(3):287-305. doi: 10.1016/0163-7258(91)90029-l.


Glutathione (GSH) fulfills several essential functions: Detoxification of free radicals and toxic oxygen radicals, thiol-disulfide exchange and storage and transfer of cysteine. GSH is present in all mammalian cells, but may be especially important for organs with intense exposure to exogenous toxins such as the liver, kidney, lung and intestine. Within the cell mitochondrial GSH is the main defense against physiological oxidant stress generated by cellular respiration and may be a critical target for toxic oxygen and electrophilic metabolites. Glutathione homeostasis is a highly complex process, which is predominantly regulated by the liver, lung and kidney.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism*
  • Glutathione* / biosynthesis
  • Glutathione* / metabolism
  • Glutathione* / physiology
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione
  • Cysteine