Redox Rep 2012 ;17(3):101-7
\Department of Biochemistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Vitamin E is the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant. Recently, it has been proposed as a gene regulator, and its gene modulation effects have been observed at different levels of gene expression and cell signaling. This study was performed to investigate the effects of vitamin E on the activity and expression of the most important endogenous antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), in rat plasma.
Methods: Twenty-eight male Sprauge-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: control group and three dosing groups. The control group received the vehicle (liquid paraffin), and the dosing groups received twice-weekly intraperitoneal injections of 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg of vitamin E ((±)-α-Tocopherol) for 6 weeks. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme assays were used to assess the levels of Cu/Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD mRNA and enzyme activity levels in blood cells at 0, 2, 4, and 6 weeks following vitamin E administration. Catalase enzyme activity and total antioxidant capacity were also assessed in plasma at the same time intervals.
Results: Mn-SOD activity was significantly increased in the 100 and 30 mg/kg dosing groups after 4 and 6 weeks, with corresponding significant increase in their mRNA levels. Cu/Zn-SOD activity was not significantly changed in response to vitamin E administration at any time points, whereas Cu/Zn-SOD mRNA levels were significantly increased after longer time points with high doses (30 and 100 mg/kg) of vitamin E. Catalase enzyme activity was transiently but significantly increased after 4 weeks of vitamin E treatment in 30 and 100 mg/kg dosing groups. Total antioxidant status was significantly increased after 4 and 6 weeks in the 100 mg/kg dosing group.
Conclusion: Only the chronic administration of higher doses of alpha-tocopherol is associated with the increased activity and expression of Mn-SOD in rats. Cu/Zn-SOD activity and expression does not dramatically change in response to vitamin E.