The ability of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as well as other tissues, to cope with reactive oxygen species (ROS) efflux in pathological events is determined partly by epithelial antioxidant levels. These levels are comprized of tissue antioxidant enzymes and low molecular weight antioxidants (LMWA). While glutathione levels and the activity of enzymatic antioxidants along the GI tract have been studied, the contribution of the overall LMWA to the total antioxidant capacity has not yet been determined. In this study the overall antioxidant activity in the mucosa/submucosa and muscularis/serosa of various sections along the small intestine and colon of the rat was evaluated by determining the reducing power, which reflects the total antioxidant activity derived from LMWA, using cyclic voltammetry. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase was also measured. The reducing power (total antioxidant activity) was higher in the mucosa/submucosa of the small intestine as compared to the mucosa/submucosa of the colon. Similarly, catalase and SOD activity in the mucosa/submucosa of the small intestine was significantly higher than in the mucosa/submucosa of the colon. Differences were also observed in the reducing power and SOD activity in the muscularis/serosa of the rat small intestine as compared to the colon. The low antioxidant capacity in the colon may facilitate reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated injury and lead to inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, specifically in the colon.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was supported by a research grant from the American-Israeli Binational Foundation number 93-56. The results reported here are included in the dissertation project of S.B. as partial fulfillment of her Ph.D. degree requirements at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The study was presented in part at the 3rd Jerusalem Conference of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology, Jerusalem, Israel, 1996.
- Cyclic voltammeter
- Low molecular weight antioxidants
- Superoxide dismutase
- Ulcerative colitis