Reduced glutathione (GSH) was rapidly regenerated in normal human red blood cells treated with the GSH oxidizing agent, methyl phenylazoformate. Erythrocytes of G-6-PD deficient males regenerated little, if any, GSH under the same conditions. The rate of regeneration of GSH in erythrocytes of G-6-PD deficient heterozygote females was similar to that of a mixture of normal red blood cells and erythrocytes of G-6-PD deficient males. It was compatible with the assumption of mosaicism of the erythrocytes in the heterozygote females. The rapid rate at which the normal erythrocyte can regenerate its GSH may render it capable of continuously absorbing free radicals derived from drugs without harmful consequences to the cell.
Study of the rate of regeneration of GSH in erythrocytes treated with methyl phenylazoformate may be useful in the detection of deficiencies of G-6-PD, GSSG reductase, and hexokinase.
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