Alpha-Lipoic acid: a metabolic antioxidant which regulates NF-kappa B signal transduction and protects against oxidative injury


Packer L




Drug Metab Rev


Although the metabolic role of alpha-lipoic acid has been known for over 40 years, it is only recently that its effects when supplied exogenously have become known. Exogenous alpha-lipoic acid is reduced intracellularly by at least two and possibly three enzymes, and through the actions of its reduced form, it influences a number of cell process. These include direct radical scavenging, recycling of other antioxidants, accelerating GSH synthesis, and modulating transcription factor activity, especially that of NF-kappa B (Fig. 12). These mechanisms may account for the sometimes dramatic effects of alpha-lipoic acid in oxidative stress conditions (e.g., brain ischemia-reperfusion), and point the way toward its therapeutic use.