Alterations of antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress markers in aging

M Kasapoglu, T Ozben
Experimental Gerontology 2001, 36 (2): 209-20
In accordance with the present state of scientific knowledge, the excessive production of free radicals in the organism, and the imbalance between the concentrations of these and the antioxidant defenses may be related to processes such as aging and several diseases. The aging process has been described by various theories. In particular, the free radical theory of aging has received widespread attention which proposes that deleterious actions of free radicals are responsible for the functional deterioration associated with aging. Although, the relationship between lipid peroxidation and aging have been investigated extensively, the studies have produced conflicting results. To investigate the correlation between the oxidative stress and aging, we have determined the levels of lipid peroxidation expressed as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS; MDA) and conjugated dien; oxidative protein damage as indicated by carbonyl content and activities of antioxidant enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in a sample of 100 healthy men and women ranging in age from 20 to 70years. In addition, vitamin E, C levels, reduced glutathione and sulphydryl content were determined. The oxidation end product of nitric oxide (nitrate) was also studied to investigate any role of nitrogen radicals in aging. Our data show that there is an age related increase in lipid peroxidation expressed as MDA and oxidative protein damage as indicated by carbonyl content. Aging is not linked to a decline in antioxidant enzymes except GPx. Our data suggests that the level of oxidative stress increase cannot entirely be attributed to a decrease in the activities of antioxidant defense system and probably various factors may contribute to this process.

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