Effects of 1,4-butanediol administration on oxidative stress in rat brain: Study of the neurotoxicity of γ-hydroxybutyric acid in vivo
γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a naturally occurring compound in the central nervous system (CNS) whose tissue concentration are highly increased in the neurometabolic-inherited deficiency of succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) activity or due to intoxication. SSADH deficiency is biochemically characterized by increased concentrations of GHB in tissues, cerebrospinal fluid, blood and urine of affected patients. Clinical manifestations are variable and include retardation of mental, motor, and language development along with other neurological symptoms, such as hypotonia, ataxia and seizures, whose underlying mechanisms are practically unknown. The precursor of GHB, 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD) has been used to study the mechanisms of in vivo GHB neurotoxicity. Therefore, in the present work, the effect of acute administration of 20 or 120 mg/Kg 1,4-BD was investigated on various parameters of oxidative stress, such as spontaneous chemiluminescence, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBA-RS), total antioxidant reactivity (TAR), sulfhydryl and protein carbonyl contents, as well as the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in homogenates from cerebral cortex of 14-day-old Wistar rats. Acute administration of 120 mg/Kg 1,4-BD significantly increased spontaneous chemiluminescence and TBA-RS levels, while TAR measurement was markedly diminished, whereas injection of a lower dose (20 mg/Kg) did not change the parameters examined. Other parameters of oxidative stress evaluated were not affected by administration of 1,4-BD. These results indicate that 1,4-BD induces in vivo oxidative stress by stimulating lipid peroxidation and decreasing the non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses in cerebral cortex of young rats. If these effects also occur in humans, it is possible that they might contribute to the brain damage found in SSADH-deficient patients and possibly in individuals intoxicated by GHB or its prodrugs (γ-butyrolactone or 1,4-BD).