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Mech Ageing Dev. 1987 Nov;41(1-2):125-37.

Changes in superoxide radical and lipid peroxide formation in the brain, heart and liver during the lifetime of the rat.

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Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


The free radical theory of aging was examined by measuring the formation of superoxide radical (SOR) and the level of lipid peroxides in various tissues of the aging rat. A significant increase in SOR production was seen in mitochondria prepared from the brain and the heart as rats aged. An elevation in the level of lipid peroxidation was also found in whole tissue homogenates of the brain and the liver. Vitamin E concentrations in the blood rose rapidly in young rats and remained steady except for a non significant drop in old animals. These results suggest that age-related degeneration of various tissues in the rat may be due to a rise in free radical production in the mitochondria.

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