Nitrofurantoin inhibition of mouse liver mitochondrial respiration involving NAD-linked substrates


Lim, Lori O.; Bortell, Rita; Neims, Allen H.

Publication Year 1986
Journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Pages 493-499
Volume 84
Issue 3
Issn 0041008X
DOI 10.1016/0041-008X(86)90254-1

In our study, nitrofurantoin (NF) and nitrofurazone (NZ) inhibited respiration of isolated mouse (C57B/6J, adult, male) liver mitochondria. Other aromatic nitro compounds, nitroimidazole, metronidazole, and p-nitrobenzoic acid, did not have any significant effect. The primary site of activity for NF was complex I NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase mediated respiration, since only complex I substrates, glutamate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and α-ketoglutarate-mediated respiration were decreased. Respiration supported by succinate, a complex II substrate, was not affected by any of the compounds. NF at a concentration of 50 μm decreased state 3 and dinitrophenol-uncoupled respiration to 28 ± 1 and 25 ± 5% of control, respectively, of mitochondria oxidizing glutamate. Studies with mitoplasts oxidizing glutamate showed that NF inhibited both state 3 and 4 respiration. The inhibition of state 3 was prevented by the simultaneous addition of superoxide dismutase (240 μg/ml) and catalase (200 μg/ml). These results suggest that the mitochondrion, in particular complex I of the electron transport system, is a target for NF toxicity. The effect on respiration may be mediated by NF redox cycling and the generation of reactive oxygen intermediates resulting in the interference of electron flow.