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Mech Ageing Dev. 1995 Sep 29;84(1):65-76.

Alterations of superoxide dismutase iso-enzyme activity, content, and mRNA expression with aging in rat skeletal muscle.

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Department of Hygiene, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan.


The alterations of superoxide dismutase iso-enzyme (Cu,Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD) activities, contents, and mRNA expressions with aging were studied in rat soleus muscle (SO) and extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL). The activity and content of Cu,Zn-SOD in both muscles were significantly higher in old rats (24 months old) than in young rats (4 months old), whereas those of Mn-SOD showed no difference between young and old rats. After normalization to citrate synthase (CS) activity, however Mn-SOD/CS ratio in SO also showed the age-related increase. Moreover, the activities of other major antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and catalase (CAT), indicated age-related increases only in SO. As for the expressions of mRNAs for SOD iso-enzymes, that of Cu,Zn-SOD in either muscle showed no significant change with aging, unlike its activity and content, although that of Mn-SOD was decreased with aging only in EDL. Thus, aging appeared to raise the level of antioxidant enzyme system in rat skeletal muscle. However, the resistance of Cu,Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD to oxidative stress accompanied by aging was different, the former being obviously greater than the latter. Such changes also differed in muscle fiber type suggesting that fast-twitch fibers are more susceptible to age-related oxidative stress than slow-twitch fibers.

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