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Brain Res. 2010 Nov 4;1359:178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.093. Epub 2010 Sep 26.

Oxidative stress: a potential recipe for anxiety, hypertension and insulin resistance.

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Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston, TX, USA.


We recently reported involvement of oxidative stress in anxiety-like behavior of rats. Others in separate studies have demonstrated a link between oxidative stress and hypertension as well as with type 2 diabetes/insulin resistance. In the present study, we have tested a putative role of oxidative stress in anxiety-like behavior, hypertension and insulin resistance using a rat model of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in rats was produced by xanthine (0.1%; drinking water) and xanthine oxidase (5 U/kg; i.p.). X+XO-treated rats had increased plasma and urinary 8-isoprostane levels (a marker of oxidative stress) and increased malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the hippocampus and amygdala as compared to control rats. Serum corticosterone (a systemic marker of stress and anxiety) levels also increased with X+XO treatment. Moreover, anxiety-like behavior measured via open-field and light-dark exploration behavior tests significantly increased in X+XO-treated rats. Mean arterial blood pressure measured in anesthetized rats increased in X+XO-treated compared to control rats. Furthermore, plasma insulin but not glucose levels together with homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), an index of insulin resistance, were higher in X+XO-treated rats. Our studies suggest that oxidative stress is a common factor that link anxiety-like behavior, hypertension and insulin resistance in rats.

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