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Previous studies have shown heparin to have antiinflammatory properties. We have attempted to determine if the mechanism involves the inhibition of lipid oxidation by utilizing a model system where linoleic acid is oxidized in the presence of oxygen and methemoglobin. Heparin inhibits this “quasi-lipoxygenase” activity prolonging the lag phase and slowing the rate of lipid peroxidation. An oxidant scavenging mechanism is also inferred from the fact that heparin is capable of inhibiting luminol-dependent chemiluminescence resulting from the reduction of 15-HPETE by methemoglobin. It is concluded that heparin, in at least this model system, is capable of inhibiting lipoxygenation by an oxidant scavenging mechanism.
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