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Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2013 Aug;165(4):384-404. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Role of redox metabolism for adaptation of aquatic animals to drastic changes in oxygen availability.

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  • 1Laboratório de Radicais Livres, Departamento de Biologia Celular, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, 70910-900 DF, Brazil.

Abstract

Large changes in oxygen availability in aquatic environments, ranging from anoxia through to hyperoxia, can lead to corresponding wide variation in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by animals with aquatic respiration. Therefore, animals living in marine, estuarine and freshwater environments have developed efficient antioxidant defenses to minimize oxidative stress and to regulate the cellular actions of ROS. Changes in oxygen levels may lead to bursts of ROS generation that can be particularly harmful. This situation is commonly experienced by aquatic animals during abrupt transitions from periods of hypoxia/anoxia back to oxygenated conditions (e.g. intertidal cycles). The strategies developed differ significantly among aquatic species and are (i) improvement of their endogenous antioxidant system under hyperoxia (that leads to increased ROS formation) or other similar ROS-related stresses, (ii) increase in antioxidant levels when displaying higher metabolic rates, (iii) presence of constitutively high levels of antioxidants, that attenuates oxidative stress derived from fluctuations in oxygen availability, or (iv) increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes (and/or the levels of their mRNAs) during hypometabolic states associated with anoxia/hypoxia. This enhancement of the antioxidant system - coined over a decade ago as "preparation for oxidative stress" - controls the possible harmful effects of increased ROS formation during hypoxia/reoxygenation. The present article proposes a novel explanation for the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in this phenomenon that could be triggered by hypoxia-induced ROS formation. We also discuss the connections among oxygen sensing, oxidative damage and regulation of the endogenous antioxidant defense apparatus in animals adapted to many natural or man-made challenges of the aquatic environment.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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