Effects of copper deficiency and experimental diabetes on tissue antioxidant enzyme levels in rats

BM McDermott, Peter Flatt, JJ Strain

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Male weanling rats were fed diets containing either adequate (6.2 mg/kg) or deficient (0.82 mg/kg) quantities of copper for 35 days. Six rats from each group (n = 12) were then injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. Rats were killed after a further 16 days and tissues removed for the analysis of the copper level and antioxidant enzyme activities. Diabetes resulted in increased cardiac catalase, glutathione S-transferase (GST), copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and manganese superoxide dismutase activities. Renal catalase levels were decreased in diabetes, while glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity (G6PDH) was increased. Diabetes significantly decreased the activities of hepatic GST and G6PDH. The combination of diabetes and copper deficiency resulted in increased levels of hepatic GST, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase. Hepatic and renal tissue copper levels were also increased in diabetes, apparently improving copper status in the copper-deficient rats. Alterations of antioxidant enzyme activities in diabetes were suggestive of increased oxidant stress, especially in cardiac tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
JournalAnnals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1994


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