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Exp Gerontol. 2001 Dec;37(1):137-48.

Plasma concentration of myeloperoxidase enzyme in pre- and post-climacterial people: related superoxide anion generation.

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2nd Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Szentkirályi Utca 46, 1088, Budapest, Hungary.


Neutrophil granulocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis also through their free radical generation. The aim of the study was to test how extracellular levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO; a granulocyte enzyme playing role in free radical production) change by age and what effect this change has on the production of the free radical superoxide anion by neutrophils. We also wanted to examine whether the antioxidant effect of different steroid hormones is realized through the MPO. Plasma myeloperoxidase concentrations of healthy blood donors were quantified by ELISA. Superoxide anion production was measured by photometry. Myeloperoxidase concentration was significantly lower in plasmas obtained from older women and men than in those from younger subjects. Adding the MPO inhibitors 4-aminobenzoic acid hydrazide (ABAH) and indomethacin to the granulocytes, the generation of superoxide anion increased and the decreasing effect of the steroids on superoxide production was inhibited. Incubating the neutrophils with the product of the reaction catalyzed by MPO itself (hypochlorite anion), we found significant decrease in superoxide generation. According to our results MPO seems to diminish the production of superoxide anion and so probably has an antioxidant ability. Therefore, its lower plasma levels may contribute to the increasing incidence of atherosclerosis and other free radical mediated disorders in old people. Thus, after further studies MPO might become one of the indicators of cardiovascular risk and the scavenger capacity in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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