Age-related changes in an antioxidant defense system in elderly patients with essential hypertension compared with healthy controls

Joanna Rybka, Daria Kupczyk, Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska, Hanna Pawluk, Jolanta Czuczejko, Karolina Szewczyk-Golec, Mariusz Kozakiewicz, Marco Antonioli, Livia A Carvalho, Józef Kędziora
Redox Report: Communications in Free Radical Research 2011, 16 (2): 71-7

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Oxidative stress has been reported to increase with aging. Oxidative stress is also associated with hypertension, and antioxidant treatment has been shown to enhance antioxidant defense system. We therefore aimed to analyze the relationship between aging and some markers of oxidative stress in elderly patients with essential hypertension compared with healthy controls.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Blood was collected from 18 patients with essential hypertension and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy controls aged over 65. Patients were on their usual medications while participating in the study. Oxidative stress parameters were investigated by measuring the concentration of glutathione (GSH) in whole blood and activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPx-1), glutathione reductase (GR), catalase (CAT), and Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZn SOD, SOD-1) in erythrocytes. GSH, GPx-1, GR, CAT, and CuZn SOD correlations with age were expressed as Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient r. Independent-samples T test was used to compare mean values of parameters between groups.

RESULTS: (1) Among all parameters analyzed herein, the activity of SOD-1 showed the most explicit decrease in relation to age, both in healthy controls and hypertensive subjects with r values of -0.54 (P = 0.05) and -0.68 (P < 0.01), respectively. (2) Age-related changes in parameters of oxidative stress did not differ significantly between groups. (3) Mean activity of SOD-1 was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in elderly hypertensives (2341.7 ± 213.71 U/g Hb) when compared with healthy controls (2199.7 ± 213.66 U/g Hb). (4) Mean GSH level was significantly higher (P < 0.01) in patients (3.1 ± 0.29 mmol/l) than in controls (2.8 ± 0.37 mmol/l). (5) Increased level of GSH in hypertension was followed by significantly (P < 0.01) higher activity of GR in this group when compared with controls (83.4 ± 15.25 and 64.1 ± 9.40 U/g Hb, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: (1) The antioxidant barrier changes in elderly subjects with senescence. (2) CuZn SOD activity is negatively correlated with age and this association is not altered by factors that modulate the enzyme activity, such as hypertension and antihypertensive treatment. (3) Significantly higher concentration of GSH and significantly higher GR activity in patients may suggest a significant role of GSH metabolism in the pathogenesis of hypertension, as well as its contribution to the effect of antihypertensive treatment.

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