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Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jul;193(1):28-35. Epub 2006 Sep 14.

Chronic hyperbaric oxygen treatment elicits an anti-oxidant response and attenuates atherosclerosis in apoE knockout mice.

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Department of Molecular Biology & Immunology, The University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76104, USA.


We previously demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment inhibits diet-induced atherosclerosis in New Zealand White rabbits. In the present study we investigate the mechanisms that might be involved in the athero-protective effect of HBO treatment in a well-accepted model of atherosclerosis, the apoE knockout (KO) mouse. We examine the effects of daily HBO treatment (for 5 and 10 weeks) on the components of the anti-oxidant defense mechanism and the redox state in blood, liver and aortic tissues and compare them to those of untreated apoE KO mice. HBO treatment results in a significant reduction of aortic cholesterol content and decreased fatty streak formation. These changes are accompanied by a significant reduction of autoantibodies against oxidatively modified LDL and profound changes in the redox state of the liver and aortic tissues. A 10-week treatment significantly reduces hepatic levels of TBARS and oxidized glutathione, while significantly increases the levels of reduced glutathione, glutathione reductase (GR), transferase, Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase and catalase (CAT). The effects of HBO treatment are similar in the aortic tissues. These observations provide evidence that HBO treatment has a powerful effect on the redox state of relevant tissues and produces an environment that inhibits oxidation. The anti-oxidant response may be the key to the anti-atherogenic effect of HBO treatment.

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