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Toxicol In Vitro. 2008 Sep;22(6):1657-61. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2008.05.011. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

The partial pressure of oxygen affects biomarkers of oxidative stress in cultured rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes.

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Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Gaustadallèen 21, Oslo, Norway.


Oxidative stress, the imbalance between production of reactive oxygen species and the cellular detoxification of these reactive compounds, is believed to be involved in the pathology of various diseases. Several biomarkers for oxidative stress have been proposed to serve as tools in toxicological and ecotoxicological research. Not only may exposure to various pro-oxidants create conditions of cellular oxidative stress, but hyperoxic conditions may also increase the production of reactive oxygen species. The objective of the current study was to determine the extent to which differences in oxygen partial pressure would affect biomarkers of oxidative stress in a primary culture of hepatocytes from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Membrane integrity, metabolic activity, levels of total and oxidized glutathione (tGSH/GSSG) was determined, as well as mRNA expression levels of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (GSSG-R), gamma-glutamyl-cystein synthetase (GCS) and thioredoxin (TRX). The results show that different biomarkers of oxidative stress are affected when the cell culture is exposed to atmospheric oxygen, and that changes such as increased GSSG content and induction of GSSG-R and GSH-Px can be reduced by culturing the cells under lower oxygen tension. Oxygen tension may thus influence results of in vitro based cell research and is particularly important when assessing parameters in the antioxidant defence system. Further research is needed to establish the magnitude of this effect in different cellular systems.

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