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J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 Apr 19;47(6):509-22.

Exogenous catalase may potentiate oxidant-mediated lung injury in the female Sprague-Dawley rat.

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Industrial Toxicity and Occupational Medicine Unit, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


Enhancement of lung antioxidant capacity has been proposed in the therapy of acute lung injuries involving local accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We have studied in the female Sprague-Dawley rat the effect of intratracheal administration of catalase (CAT) on the acute lung response induced by different ROS generating systems. The lung response was assessed at several time intervals (60-360 min) by monitoring in bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) the activity of lactate dehydrogenase and the levels of total protein, albumin, and glucose. While CAT (50,000 IU/rat) significantly reduced the biochemical changes induced by hydrogen peroxide produced by a glucose/glucose oxidase system, it markedly exacerbated the lesions induced by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). Several observations indicate that a particular chemical species formed during the catalase inactivation process is responsible for this effect. Parallel to the development of the lung damage, we noted a rapid reduction of CAT activity (80%) in the BALF of animals treated with PMA and CAT. In vitro an inhibition of CAT activity was observed in the presence of a superoxide anion generating system, and this inhibition was prevented by superoxide dismutase (SOD). A dose of 10,000 IU superoxide dismutase did not prevent the development of the lung lesions induced by PMA plus CAT. Administered alone or in association with PMA, CAT inactivated by heat or 3-aminotriazole also caused severe lung damage. In conclusion, the present study indicates that exogenous catalase may not always protect against the inflammatory reaction resulting from an oxidative stress. In the presence of superoxide anions, catalase may aggravate the lesions, and this possibility should be kept in mind when considering an antioxidant therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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