ATP/ADP alteration as a sign of the oxidative stress development in Escherichia coli cells under antibiotic treatment.
The extensively discussed idea of oxidative stress development under antibiotic treatment was confirmed using an antioxidant gene expression (soxRS-, oxyR-regulon) approach, including microaerobic cultivation conditions. The killing action of antibiotics and their ability to cause peroxide oxidative stress in Escherichia coli cells was comparable to a similar hydrogen peroxide capacity; therefore, the involvement of intracellular hydrogen peroxide production in the killing action of antibiotics seems plausible under conditions studied. The temporary increase of ATP/ADP (which returned to untreated levels in 10 min) and the intensification of respiration preceded the development of oxidative stress. The sharp rise in ATP/ADP was due to the accumulation of ATP with a slight increase in the ADP content. We proposed that ATP accumulation was not a result of increased respiration but was due to the inhibition of energy-consuming processes. The association of reactive oxygen species formation under antibiotic treatment with the inhibition of direct electron flow pathway along the respiratory chain, and a possible role of a sharp rise in ATP/ADP in this process is hypothesized.