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Oxidative damage and antioxidant defense in thymus of malnourished lactating rats



Oxidative damage and antioxidant defense in thymus of malnourished lactating rats



Nutrition 31(11-12): 1408-1415



Malnutrition has been associated with oxidative damage by altered antioxidant protection mechanisms. Specifically, the aim of this study was to evaluate oxidative damage (DNA and lipid) and antioxidant status (superoxide dismutase [SOD], glutathione peroxidase [GPx], and catalase [CAT] mRNA, and protein expression) in thymus from malnourished rat pups. Malnutrition was induced during the lactation period by the food competition method. Oxidative DNA damage was determined quantifying 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine adduct by high-performance liquid chromatography. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by the formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Levels of gene and protein expression of SOD, GPx, and CAT were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot, respectively. Antioxidant enzyme activities were measured spectrophotometrically. Oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation significantly increased in second-degree (MN-2) and third-degree malnourished (MN-3) rats compared with well-nourished rats. Higher amounts of oxidative damage, lower mRNA expression, and lower relative concentrations of protein, as well as decreased antioxidant activity of SOD, GPx, and CAT were associated with the MN-2 and MN-3 groups. The results of this study demonstrated that higher body-weight deficits were related to alterations in antioxidant protection, which contribute to increased levels of damage in the thymus. To our knowledge, this study demonstrated for the first time that early in life, malnutrition leads to increased DNA and lipid oxidative damage, attributable to damaged antioxidant mechanisms including transcriptional and enzymatic activity alterations. These findings may contribute to the elucidation of the causes of previously reported thymus dysfunction, and might explain partially why children and adults who have overcome child undernourishment experience immunologic deficiencies.

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Accession: 058488709

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26429663

DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.014


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