2-Bromohydroquinone (BHQ) is a nephrotoxic metabolite of bromobenzene and a model toxic hydroquinone. The primary goal of these studies was to determine whether BHQ produces toxicity in rabbit renal proximal tubules by inhibiting mitochondrial function. BHQ induces a specific sequence of cellular events. Initially there was a decrease in tubular glutathione content followed by a decrease in nystatin-stimulated ouabain-sensitive respiration. A decrease in cell viability, as measured by a decrease in lactate dehydrogenase retention, was a late event. Associated with the decrease in respiration was a decrease in intracellular ATP content. Probing of mitochondrial function in the tubule revealed that BHQ did inhibit mitochondrial function in a somewhat selective manner. State 3 respiration was inhibited prior to changes in the rate of electron flow through cytochrome c-cytochrome oxidase. It is postulated that BHQ may initially inhibit state 3 respiration by inhibiting the adenine nucleotide transloca. and/or the F1-ATPase.
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