Indexed on: 26 Oct '12Published on: 26 Oct '12Published in: Hypertension Research
Although oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), there is little information on the levels of primary antioxidant enzymes status (AOEs) in pre-hypertensive SHR. This study therefore determined the activities of primary AOEs and their mRNA levels, levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant status (TAS) in whole kidneys of SHR and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats aged between 2 and 16 weeks. Compared with age-matched WKY rats, catalase (CAT) activity was significantly higher from the age of 2 weeks (P<0.001) and glutathione peroxide (GPx) activity was lower from the age of 3 weeks (P<0.001) in SHR. CAT mRNA levels were significantly higher in SHR aged 2, 4, 6 and 12 weeks. GPx mRNA levels were significantly lower in SHR at 8 and 12 weeks. Superoxide dismutase activity or its mRNA levels were not different between the two strains. H2O2 levels were significantly lower in SHR from the age of 8 weeks (P<0.01). TAS was significantly higher in SHR from the age of 3 weeks (P<0.05). MDA levels were only significantly higher at 16 weeks of age in the SHR (P<0.05). The data suggest that altered renal CAT and GPx mRNA expression and activity precede the development of hypertension in SHR. The raised CAT activity perhaps contributes to the higher TAS and lower H2O2 levels in SHR. In view of these findings, the precise role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of hypertension in SHR needs to be investigated further.