Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Free Radic Biol Med. 2011 Jul 1;51(1):38-52. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Inhibition of xanthine oxidase reduces oxidative stress and improves skeletal muscle function in response to electrically stimulated isometric contractions in aged mice.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Muscle Biology and Sarcopenia, Division of Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.


Oxidative stress is a putative factor responsible for reducing function and increasing apoptotic signaling in skeletal muscle with aging. This study examined the contribution and functional significance of the xanthine oxidase enzyme as a potential source of oxidant production in aged skeletal muscle during repetitive in situ electrically stimulated isometric contractions. Xanthine oxidase activity was inhibited in young adult and aged mice via a subcutaneously placed time-release (2.5mg/day) allopurinol pellet, 7 days before the start of in situ electrically stimulated isometric contractions. Gastrocnemius muscles were electrically activated with 20 maximal contractions for 3 consecutive days. Xanthine oxidase activity was 65% greater in the gastrocnemius muscle of aged mice compared to young mice. Xanthine oxidase activity also increased after in situ electrically stimulated isometric contractions in muscles from both young (33%) and aged (28%) mice, relative to contralateral noncontracted muscles. Allopurinol attenuated the exercise-induced increase in oxidative stress, but it did not affect the elevated basal level of oxidative stress that was associated with aging. In addition, inhibition of xanthine oxidase activity decreased caspase-3 activity, but it had no effect on other markers of mitochondrial-associated apoptosis. Our results show that compared to control conditions, suppression of xanthine oxidase activity by allopurinol reduced xanthine oxidase activity, H₂O₂ levels, lipid peroxidation, and caspase-3 activity; prevented the in situ electrically stimulated isometric contraction-induced loss of glutathione; prevented the increase in catalase and copper-zinc superoxide dismutase activities; and increased maximal isometric force in the plantar flexor muscles of aged mice after repetitive electrically evoked contractions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center