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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 May 14;317(4):1080-8.

The chemical inducibility of mouse cardiac antioxidants and phase 2 enzymes in vivo.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439, USA.


The recognition of the critical involvement of oxidative and electrophilic stress in cardiac disorders has led to extensive investigation of the protective effects of exogenous antioxidants on cardiac injury. On the other hand, another strategy for protecting against oxidative/electrophilic cardiac injury may be through induction of the endogenous antioxidants and phase 2 enzymes in myocardium by chemical inducers. However, our understanding of the chemical inducibility of cardiac antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes in vivo is very limited. In addition, careful studies on the basal levels of a scope of endogenous antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes in myocardium as compared with other tissues, such as liver, are lacking. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to determine the basal levels of endogenous antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), GSH S-transferase (GST), and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), and investigate the inducibility of the above antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes by the chemoprotectant, 1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T), in cardiac as well as hepatic tissues in C57BL/6 mice. Our results demonstrated that in C57BL/6 mice, the levels of catalase, GSH, GPx, GR, and GST were significantly lower in cardiac tissue than in hepatic tissue. The level of total SOD did not differ significantly between mouse heart and liver. Notably, heart contained a much higher NQO1 activity than liver. Immunoblotting and RT-PCR analyses further demonstrated the high expression of NQO1 protein and mRNA in myocardium. Oral administration of D3T at 0.25 and 0.5 mmol/kg body weight for 3 consecutive days resulted in a significant induction of cardiac SOD, catalase, GR, GST, and NQO1. No significant induction of cardiac GSH and GPx was observed with the above D3T treatment. Only GR, GST, and NQO1 in mouse liver were induced by the D3T treatment. Unexpectedly, we observed a significant D3T dose-dependent decrease in hepatic GPx activity. Taken together, this study demonstrates for the first time that: (1) the expression of NQO1 is remarkably high in mouse myocardium though other cardiac antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes are relatively lower as compared with liver; (2) a number of endogenous antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes in mouse cardiac tissue can be significantly induced by D3T following oral administration; and (3) the inducibility of endogenous antioxidants/phase 2 enzymes by D3T differs between mouse cardiac and hepatic tissues. This study provides a basis for future investigation of the cardioprotection of chemically induced endogenous antioxidants and phase 2 enzymes in myocardium in animal models of oxidative/electrophilic cardiac disorders.

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