The process of lipid peroxidation of skeletal muscle has been examined in vitro by monitoring the autoxidation of skeletal-muscle homogenates. Skeletal-muscle tissue has been shown to have considerable capacity for autoxidation and the process has been found to be initiated by a free-radical-mediated mechanism, critically dependent on the presence of free iron in the homogenate. The initiating radicals have not been firmly identified, but the results suggest that neither superoxide or hydroxyl radicals are involved. An in vitro technique for assessment of the antioxidant capacity of muscle tissue has also been developed which is capable of demonstrating differences between muscle tissues with differing vitamin E contents.

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