Role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the diabetes-induced anomalies in rat embryos in vitro: Reduction in antioxidant enzymes and low-molecular-weight antioxidants (LMWA) may be the causative factor for increased anomalies

A. Ornoy*, V. Zaken, R. Kohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

A disturbed embryonic antioxidant defense mechanism may play a major role in diabetes-induced teratogenesis. We therefore studied the antioxidant capacity of 10.5-day-old rat embryos and their yolk sacs after culture for 28 hr in vitro under diabetic conditions (3 mg/ml glucose, 2 mg/ml β-hydroxybutyrate (BHOB) and 10 μg/ml of acetoacetate), as compared with control embryos in vitro. We found a high rate of congenital anomalies, decreased growth and protein content, and a decrease in the activity of both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) under diabetic conditions, as compared with controls. The reducing power, which reflects the concentration and type of water-soluble and of lipid-soluble low-molecular-weight antioxidants (LMWA), was measured by cyclic voltammetry. Generally, LMWA were reduced in the embryos and yolk sacs under diabetic conditions. In the water-soluble fraction of control embryos and yolk sacs, two peak potentials were found, indicating two major groups of LMWA, while only one peak potential was found under diabetic conditions, indicating that an entire group of LMWA is missing. HPLC studies have demonstrated a decrease in vitamin C (water-soluble fraction] and in Vitamin E (lipid-soluble fraction) under diabetic culture conditions, and an increase in uric acid. Generally, the concentuation of LMWA was higher in the embryos than in the yolk sac, LMWA concentration, protein content, and antioxidant enzyme activity were lower in the malformed experimental embryos than in experimental embryos without anomalies. The addition of vitamins C and E to the diabetic culture medium abolished the deleterious effects of the diabetic serum on the embryos. The disturbed antioxidant defense mechanism under diabetic conditions may be explained, at least in part, by a direct effect of diabetic metabolic factors on the activity of antioxidant enzymes and on the concentration of reducing equivalents. This, in turn, may be embryotoxic.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)376-386
Number of pages11
JournalTeratology
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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