• Albino Xenopus liver;
  • Pigmented Xenopus liver;
  • Melanins;
  • Lipoperoxidation;
  • O2 scavenger

The susceptibility to lipoperoxidation in liver of albino and pigmented Xenopus laevis Daudin, has been studied. Albino Xenopus liver was richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) than the pigmented one; moreover, it was also richer in mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and in reduced glutathione (GSH). The thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) values were more abundant in the albino tissue compared to the pigmented tissue both during spontaneous and Fe++ induced lipoperoxidation. Therefore, when isolated and purified melanin, in physiological quantities, was added to albino tissue, the TBARS values drastically decreased. Thus, melanin, in our experimental conditions, protects the albino tissue even more than SOD and GSH do. Melanin, in our opinion, acts as an antioxidant, because it is able to scavenge O2.