, Volume 23, Issue 3-4, pp 291-308

Tissue-specific developmental regulation of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1 and SOD-2) activities in genetic strains of mice

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The activity levels of CuZn superoxide dismutase (SOD) (SOD-1) and Mn SOD (SOD-2) in liver, kidney, and lung were assessed in newborn and 3-, 10-, 25-, and ∼70-week-old females from seven genetic strains (BALB/c, Csb, C3H/HeSnJ, C3H/S, C57BL/6J, Swiss-Webster, and 129/ReJ) of mice. Total SOD enzyme activity was high at birth and declined somewhat with old age (∼70 weeks) in the liver and increased in both kidney and lung from newborn to 25 weeks. The activity level of SOD-1 was found to be highly variable among strains at different ages in liver, with little change associated with aging in the kidney, and showed a strain-specific increase during aging in the lung. In general, SOD-2 activity was lower than SOD-1 activity in liver and lung but levels of the two forms of this enzyme were similar in the kidney. The SOD-2 activity increased with age with little variation among strains in kidney. The increase in this form of the enzyme with age was relatively small and strain specific in lung and highly variable among strains in the liver. The Csb genotype (acatalasemic) at age ∼70 weeks showed an exceptionally high SOD-1 activity associated with an exceptionally low SOD-2 activity in the liver. Changes in enzyme activity with age in different tissues associated with differences in activity level among genotypes (of the type reported here for SOD-1 and SOD-2) may be indicative of a complex system of enzyme regulation. Further studies are needed to explain fully the genetic/molecular mechanism(s) for SOD regulation.

This study was financially supported by an NSERC operating grant to S.M.S. N.J.S. was the recipient of a postgraduate scholarship from the NSERC during this period.