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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 12;8(9):e74223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074223. eCollection 2013.

Altered antioxidant-oxidant status in the aqueous humor and peripheral blood of patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

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  • 1Sensorineural Disorders, Health Research Institute-La Fe, Valencia, Spain.


Retinitis Pigmentosa is a common form of hereditary retinal degeneration constituting the largest Mendelian genetic cause of blindness in the developed world. It has been widely suggested that oxidative stress possibly contributes to its pathogenesis. We measured the levels of total antioxidant capacity, free nitrotyrosine, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) formation, extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3) activity, protein, metabolites of the nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway, heme oxygenase-I and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in aqueous humor or/and peripheral blood from fifty-six patients with retinitis pigmentosa and sixty subjects without systemic or ocular oxidative stress-related disease. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that retinitis pigmentosa alters ocular antioxidant defence machinery and the redox status in blood. Patients with retinitis pigmentosa present low total antioxidant capacity including reduced SOD3 activity and protein concentration in aqueous humor. Patients also show reduced SOD3 activity, increased TBARS formation and upregulation of the nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway in peripheral blood. Together these findings confirmed the hypothesis that patients with retinitis pigmentosa present reduced ocular antioxidant status. Moreover, these patients show changes in some oxidative-nitrosative markers in the peripheral blood. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between these peripheral markers and retinitis pigmentosa.

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