The effect of acute homocysteine administration on superoxide dismutase activity in young and aged rats

Cristina-Sorina Cătană, Elena-Cristina Crăciun, Maria Dronca, Victor Cristea, Eleonora Dronca, Camelia Moldovan

Volume 17, Issue 2;
Pages: 173-178;
ISSN: 2069-0053 (print) (former: ISSN:1453-1399), Agroprint;
ISSN (online):2068 – 9551
In mammals, dietary methionine is the only source of homocysteine (Hcy) whose metabolism depends on the availability of B12 and folic acid. Although Hcy is an essential metabolite, hyperhomocysteinemia is involved in aged-associated neurodegenerative disorders. The oxidative stress is the main ethiopathogenical mechanism of alterations induced by hyperhomocysteinemia. It is generally accepted that Hcy level increases, respectively the antioxidant protection decreases with aging.

We have studied the effect of Hcy acute administration on erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Wistar rats (20 young and 20 aged) have received a single intraperitoneal injection of saline (control) or Hcy (0.6 μmol/g body weight). Significantly lower levels of SOD activity (48153.23 U/gHb versus 87184.22 U/gHb; p<0.03) were seen in young rats treated with Hcy versus control group. Lower levels, but not statistically significant were observed in aged rats. In conclusion, hyperhomocysteinemia induces a significant decrease of SOD activity only in young rats.
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