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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antioxidant enzymes in the brain of zitter rats: abnormal metabolism of oxygen species and its relevance to pathogenic changes in the brain of zitter rats with genetic spongiform encephalopathy.

Zitter rats develop a genetic spongiform encephalopathy characterized by edematous changes in their brains. In order to elucidate the involvement of reactive oxygen species in this process we examined age-related alterations of the activities of the enzymes which metabolize reactive oxygen species. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), D-amino acid oxidase (D-AAO), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase in the brain and the liver of zitter rats are compared with those of control SD/J rats. In the brain of adult zitter rats which show degenerative changes, significantly enhanced activities of SOD and D-AAO were obtained, whereas activity of catalase was lower than that of the SD/J rats. Prominent abnormalities in catalase and D-AAO but not in SOD activity were demonstrated before or at the same time as the appearance of the morphological vacuolation in the brain of suckling zitter rats. There was no difference in GSH-Px activity between the brains from zitter and SD/J rats. These results suggest that the alteration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-metabolism in microperoxisomes may play an important role in the initiation of degenerative changes in the brain of zitter rats. Enhanced SOD activity observed in the brain of adult zitter rats may be a compensatory response to the high superoxide anion produced in the course of cell damage caused by the H2O2 stagnation. Also, more SOD might produce more H2O2.[1]


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