, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 469-479
Date: 26 Aug 2009

Protective effect of antioxidants on cerebrum oxidative damage caused by arginine on pyruvate kinase activity

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We have demonstrated that acute arginine administration decreases antioxidant defenses and compromises enzymes of respiratory chain in rat brain. In this study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effect of arginine on pyruvate kinase activity, as well as its effect on an important parameter of oxidative stress namely thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBA-RS) in cerebrum of rats. We also tested the influence of antioxidants, namely α -tocopherol plus ascorbic acid on the effects elicited by arginine in order to investigate the possible participation of free radicals on the effects of arginine on these parameters. Results showed that arginine acute administration inhibited pyruvate kinase activity in cerebrum of rats, as well as increased TBA-RS. By the other hand, arginine added to the incubation medium, in vitro studies, did not alter these parameters in rat cerebrum. In addition, pretreatment with antioxidants prevented the reduction of pyruvate kinase activity and the increase of TBA-RS caused by arginine. The data indicate that acute administration of arginine induces lipid peroxidation in rat cerebrum and that the inhibition of pyruvate kinase activity caused by this amino acid was probably mediated by free radicals since antioxidants prevented such effect. It is presumed that these results might be associated, at least in part, with the neuronal dysfunction of patients affected by hyperargininemia. Finally, we suggest that the administration of antioxidants should be considered as an adjuvant therapy to specific diets in hyperargininemia.

Débora Delwing and Daniela Delwing de Lima Both are first authors