Enhanced depletion of lens reduced glutathione Adriamycin in riboflavin-deficient rats.
The anticancer drug Adriamycin has photosensitizing properties which potentially may be detrimental to lens tissue. Since reduced glutathione (GSH) serves to protect lens from photo-oxidative stress and dietary riboflavin is required by glutathione reductase to regenerate GSH, we investigated whether Adriamycin intensifies the depletion of GSH levels in rat lens during dietary riboflavin deficiency. Three-week-old rats were divided into two groups. One group was fed a diet deficient in riboflavin (less than 1 ppm) and the other group was pair-fed a control diet containing adequate riboflavin (8.5 ppm). After 6-12 weeks of dietary treatment, half the animals in each dietary group received Adriamycin (8 mg/kg/day) intraperitoneally for 3 days. After killing the rats, lenses were removed, and GSH content and glutathione reductase activity were measured in freshly prepared homogenates. To determine the extent of systemic oxidative stress and the degree of riboflavin deficiency, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase activities, respectively, were measured in erythrocytes. In lens of rats fed the riboflavin-sufficient diet, treatment with Adriamycin did not diminish GSH content or alter glutathione reductase activity. In confirmation of reports by others, lenses of animals fed the riboflavin-deficient diet had diminished GSH levels, lower basal glutathione reductase activity, and elevated glutathione reductase activity coefficients compared to those of animals pair-fed the control diet. The present study shows that in riboflavin-deficient rats, Adriamycin exacerbated the depletion of GSH but did not reduce further glutathione reductase activity. The implications of these findings are that nutritional deficiencies, in particular riboflavin deprivation, may pose a potential risk to lenticular tissue following Adriamycin treatment.