Hyperhomocysteinemia has been related to various diseases, including homocystinuria, neurodegenerative and hepatic diseases. In the present study we initially investigated the effect of chronic homocysteine administration on some parameters of oxidative stress, named total radical-trapping antioxidant potential, total antioxidant reactivity, catalase activity, chemiluminescence, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, and total thiol content in liver of rats. We also performed histological analysis, evaluating steatosis, inflammatory infiltration, fibrosis, and glycogen/glycoprotein content in liver tissue sections from hyperhomocysteinemic rats. Finally, we evaluated the activities of aminotransferases in liver and plasma of hyperhomocysteinemic rats. Wistar rats received daily subcutaneous injection of Hcy from their 6th to their 28th day of life. Twelve hours after the last injection the rats were sacrificed, liver and plasma were collected. Hyperhomocysteinemia decreased antioxidant defenses and total thiol content, and increased lipid peroxidation in liver of rats, characterizing a reliable oxidative stress. Histological analysis indicated the presence of inflammatory infiltrate, fibrosis and reduced content of glycogen/glycoprotein in liver tissue sections from hyperhomocysteinemic rats. Aminotransferases activities were not altered by homocysteine. Our data showed a consistent profile of liver injury elicited by homocysteine, which could contribute to explain, at least in part, the mechanisms involved in human liver diseases associated to hyperhomocysteinemia.
Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) deficiency is an inherited neurometabolic disorder biochemically characterized by tissue accumulation of guanidinoacetate (GAA) and depletion of creatine. Affected patients present epilepsy and mental retardation whose pathogeny is unclear. In the present study we investigated the in vitro and in vivo (intrastriatal administration) effects of GAA on some oxidative stress parameters in rat striatum. Sixty-day-old rats were used for intrastriatal infusion of GAA. For the in vitro studies, 60-day-old Wistar rats were killed by decapitation and the striatum was pre-incubated for 1 h at 37 degrees C in the presence of GAA at final concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 microM. Parameters of oxidative stress such as total radical-trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP), antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, and CAT), protein carbonyl and thiol contents were measured. DNA damage was also evaluated. Results showed that GAA administration (in vivo studies) or the addition of 100 microM GAA to assays (in vitro studies) significantly decreased TRAP, SOD activity, and total thiol levels in rat striatum. In contrast, this guanidino compound did not alter protein carbonyl content and the activities of CAT and GPx. DNA damage was not found after intrastriatal administration of GAA. The data indicate that the metabolite accumulating in GAMT deficiency decreases antioxidant capacity and total thiol content in the striatum. It is therefore presumed that this pathomechanism may contribute at least in part to the pathophysiology of the brain injury observed in patients affected by GAMT deficiency.
5-Oxoproline (pyroglutamic acid) accumulates in glutathione synthetase deficiency, an inborn metabolic defect of the gamma-glutamyl cycle. This disorder is clinically characterized by hemolytic anemia, metabolic acidosis and severe neurological disorders. Considering that the mechanisms of brain damage in this disease are poorly known, in the present study we investigated whether oxidative stress is elicited by 5-oxoproline. The in vitro effect of (0.5-3.0 mM) 5-oxoproline was studied on various parameters of oxidative stress, such as total radical-trapping antioxidant potential, total antioxidant reactivity, chemiluminescence, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, sulfhydryl content, carbonyl content, and 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein fluorescence, as well as on the activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in cerebral cortex and cerebellum of 14-day-old rats. Total radical-trapping antioxidant potential and total antioxidant reactivity were significantly reduced in both cerebral structures. Carbonyl content and 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein fluorescence were significantly enhanced, while sulfhydryl content was significantly diminished. In contrast, chemiluminescence and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances were not affected by 5-oxoproline. The activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were also not altered by 5-oxoproline. These results indicate that 5-oxoproline causes protein oxidation and reactive species production and decrease the non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses in rat brain, but does not cause lipid peroxidation. Taken together, it may be presumed that 5-oxoproline elicits oxidative stress that may represent a pathophysiological mechanism in the disorder in which this metabolite accumulates.
5-Oxoproline accumulates in glutathione synthetase deficiency, an autossomic recessive inherited disorder clinically characterized by hemolytic anemia, metabolic acidosis, and severe neurological symptoms whose mechanisms are poorly known. In the present study we investigated the effects of acute subcutaneous administration of 5-oxoproline to verify whether oxidative stress is elicited by this metabolite in vivo in cerebral cortex and cerebellum of 14-day-old rats. Our results showed that the acute administration of 5-oxoproline is able to promote both lipid and protein oxidation, to impair brain antioxidant defenses, to alter SH/SS ratio and to enhance hydrogen peroxide content, thus promoting oxidative stress in vivo, a mechanism that may be involved in the neuropathology of gluthatione synthetase deficiency.
N-acetylaspartic acid accumulates in Canavan Disease, a severe leukodystrophy characterized by swelling and spongy degeneration of the white matter of the brain. This inherited metabolic disease, caused by deficiency of the enzyme aspartoacylase, is clinically characterized by severe mental retardation, hypotonia and macrocephaly, and also generalized tonic and clonic type seizures in about half of the patients. Considering that the mechanisms of brain damage in this disease remain not fully understood, in the present study we investigated whether oxidative stress is elicited by N-acetylaspartic acid. The in vitro effect of N-acetylaspartic acid (10-80 mM) was studied on oxidative stress parameters: total radical-trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP), total antioxidant reactivity (TAR), chemiluminescence, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBA-RS), reduced glutathione content, sufhydryl content and carbonyl content in the cerebral cortex of 14-day-old rats. The effect of the acute administration of N-acetylaspartic acid (0.1-0.6 mmol/g body weight) was studied on TRAP, TAR, carbonyl content, chemiluminescence and TBA-RS. TRAP, TAR, reduced glutathione content and sulfhydryl content were significantly reduced, while chemiluminescence, TBA-RS and carbonyl content were significantly enhanced by N-acetylaspartic acid in vitro. The enhancement in TBA-RS promoted by N-acetylaspartic acid was completely prevented by ascorbic acid plus Trolox, and partially prevented by glutathione and dithiothreitol. The acute administration of N-acetylaspartic acid also significantly reduced TRAP and TAR, and significantly enhanced carbonyl content, chemiluminescence and TBA-RS. Our results indicate that N-acetylaspartic acid promotes oxidative stress by stimulating lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and by decreasing non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses in rat brain. This could be another pathophysiological mechanism involved in Canavan Disease.
N-acetylaspartic acid (NAA) is the biochemical hallmark of Canavan Disease, an inherited metabolic disease caused by deficiency of aspartoacylase activity. NAA is an immediate precursor for the enzyme-mediated biosynthesis of N-acetylaspartylglutamic acid (NAAG), whose concentration is also increased in urine and cerebrospinal fluid of patients affected by CD. This neurodegenerative disorder is clinically characterized by severe mental retardation, hypotonia and macrocephaly, and generalized tonic and clonic type seizures. Considering that the mechanisms of brain damage in this disease remain not fully understood, in the present study we investigated whether intracerebroventricular administration of NAA or NAAG elicits oxidative stress in cerebral cortex of 30-day-old rats. NAA significantly reduced total radical-trapping antioxidant potential, catalase and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities, whereas protein carbonyl content and superoxide dismutase activity were significantly enhanced. Lipid peroxidation indices and glutathione peroxidase activity were not affected by NAA. In contrast, NAAG did not alter any of the oxidative stress parameters tested. Our results indicate that intracerebroventricular administration of NAA impairs antioxidant defenses and induces oxidative damage to proteins, which could be involved in the neurotoxicity of NAA accumulation in CD patients.
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