The mucoactive drug S-carbocysteine lysine salt monohydrate (S-CMC-Lys) stimulates glutathione (GSH) efflux from respiratory cells. Since GSH is one of the most important redox regulatory mechanisms, the aim of this study was to evaluate the S-CMC-Lys effects on GSH efflux and intracellular concentration during an oxidative stress induced by the hydroxyl radical (xOH). Experiments were performed on cultured human respiratory WI-26VA4 cells by means of patch-clamp experiments in whole-cell configuration and of fluorimetric analyses at confocal microscope. xOH exposure induced an irreversible inhibition of the GSH and chloride currents that was prevented if the cells were incubated with S-CMC-Lys. In this instance, the currents were inhibited by the specific blocker CFTR(inh)-172. CFT1-C2 cells, which lack a functional CFTR channel, were not responsive to S-CMC-Lys, but the stimulatory effect of the drug was restored in LCFSN-infected CFT1 cells, functionally corrected to express CFTR. Fluorimetric measurements performed on the S-CMC-Lys-incubated cells revealed a significant increase of the GSH concentration that was completely hindered after oxidative stress and abolished by CFTR(inh)-172. The cellular content of reactive oxygen species was significantly lower in the S-CMC-Lys-treated cells either before or after xOH exposure. As a conclusion, S-CMC-Lys could exert a protective function during oxidative stress, therefore preventing or reducing the ROS-mediated inflammatory response.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.