Glutathione monoethyl ester protects against glutathione deficiencies due to aging and acetaminophen in mice
Our previous results indicated that glutathione (GSH) and/or cysteine (Cys) deficiency occurs in many aging tissues and also after acetaminophen (APAP) administration. The aim of this study was to investigate whether GSH monoethyl ester (GSH-OEt) can correct these deficiencies. Mice of different ages (3–31 months) through the life span were sacrificed 2 h after i.p. injection of GSH-OEt (10 mmol/kg). In separate experiments, old mice (30–31 months) received the same dose of ester 30 min before the administration of APAP (375 mg/kg) or buthionine sulfoximine (BSO, 4 mmol/kg), an inhibitor of GSH synthesis. Liver and kidney samples were analyzed for GSH and Cys by HPLC. The hepatic GSH and renal cortical GSH and Cys concentrations were about 30% lower in old mice (30–31 months) compared to mature mice (12 months). GSH-OEt corrected these aging-related decreases. APAP decreased both hepatic and renal cortical GSH and Cys concentrations in old mice, but GSH-OEt prevented these decreases. GSH-OEt also prevented the BSO-induced decreases in hepatic and renal GSH concentrations. The results demonstrated that GSH-OEt protected against GSH deficiency due to biological aging as well as APAP-induced decreases in old mice.