Depletion of Reduced Glutathione, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E and Antioxidant Defence Enzymes in a Healing Cutaneous Wound

Free Radic Res. 1997 Feb;26(2):93-101. doi: 10.3109/10715769709097788.


In the present investigation the involvement of free radicals in a self-healing cutaneous wound has been demonstrated. The levels of different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants have been studied in 2,4,7 and 14 days old wounds and compared with normal skin. Except for glutathione reductase (GR), all other enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were found to decrease following wounding. The decrease was 60-70% in superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) at 2, 4 and 7 days, while in the case of catalase (CAT) the decrease was 40-60% during this period. Although a complete recovery in the activity of CAT was observed, SOD and GPx did not recover completely and GST was found to be slightly elevated on 14th day post wounding. Non-enzymatic antioxidants viz, ascorbic acid, vitamin E and glutathione were also found to decrease to about 60-70% and except glutathione none of them was found to recover completely at 14th day postwounding. Interestingly thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) expressed as malondialdehyde (MDA) equivalent, a marker of lipid peroxidation, decreased following wounding which could be because of meagre availability of lipid substrate and/or of ascorbic acid. The results indicate that wounding results in loss of different free radical scavengers both enzymatic and non-enzymatic which either partially or completely recover following healing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / metabolism*
  • Wound Healing*


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Vitamin E
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid