Oxygen concentration and the OER for acutely or chronically thiol deficient cells

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1986 Jul;12(7):1131-4. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(86)90242-7.


Glutathione (GSH) is one of several intracellular hydrogen donating species thought to compete with O2, a damaging species, to repair radiation induced free radical damage. The O2 K factor was determined for normal Chinese hamster V79 cells, V79 cells made acutely thiol deficient (no detectable GSH or NPSH) using the gamma-glutamyl-cysteine synthetase enzyme inhibitor D,L-Buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine (D,L-BSO), or a human skin fibroblast cell line GM3877 which, because of the nature of its genetic defect, has chronically low levels of GSH (7% of normal skin fibroblasts). The K factors for normal V79 cells, treated with BSO or GSH deficient human fibroblasts, were 0.54, 0.15, and 0.1% O2, respectively. While thiol depletion affects the O2 K factor, V79 cells without any detectable GSH were still not as sensitive as the genetically deficient line GM3877 with 7% of normal GSH values. Other factors which may influence the results are whether the GSH levels remain low or regenerate following irradiation and the intracellular distribution of GSH.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Buthionine Sulfoximine
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cricetinae
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Methionine Sulfoximine / analogs & derivatives
  • Methionine Sulfoximine / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Radiation Tolerance*


  • Methionine Sulfoximine
  • Buthionine Sulfoximine
  • Glutathione
  • Oxygen