Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deuteronation and aging.

Deuterium has one proton and one neutron in its atomic nucleus, but hydrogen has only proton. The natural abundance of deuterium is 1 per approximately 6600 hydrogen atoms. Therefore deuterated water (both HOD + D(2)O [heavy water]) abundance is 1 per approximately 3300 water molecules. One dissociation product of deuterated and heavy water is deuteron (proton + neutron, D(+), H(2)OD(+)/D(3)O(+)). Because heavy water has a lower ionization constant than water, the D(+)/H(+) ratio is approximately 1/15,000 in biological fluids. O-D bond length is shorter than O-H, and D-O-D angle is lesser than H-O-H. Once a deuteron exchanges with proton on the water-exposed surface of a macromolecule, it can lead to a conformational change and the reverse exchange will be less likely. Deuteron bonds are stronger than proton bonds. Therefore an increase of deuteronated macromolecules can be expected in due course of time. In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted a pilot study and measured the D/H ratio in the tails of three Sprague-Dawley rats at different ages (4 weeks, 5 weeks, and >1-year old) by elemental analysis coupled with isotope ratio mass spectrometry (EA-IRMS) technique. To prevent the effect of daily water consumption, the homogenized tails were lyophilized before analysis. The results, as mean of several measurements, of 4 weeks, 5 weeks, and >1-year-old rats were per thousand-94 +/- 9.56, per thousand-101.71 +/- 6.89, per thousand-83.68 +/- 3.46 delta((2)H) relative to VSMOW, respectively. Although there is a slight increase in >1-year-old rat, the difference among the animals was not significant. We propose that, before reaching to a final conclusion about the accumulation of deuterium with aging, the measurements should be done not in whole tissue samples but in purified macromolecules from a larger set of animals.


Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Apr;1100:400-3.
Olgun A, Ozt├╝rk K, Bayir S, Akman S, Erbil MK.

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