Mitochondrial oxidant generation and oxidative damage in Ames dwarf and GH transgenic mice

  • Holly Brown-Borg
  • W. Thomas Johnson
  • Sharlene Rakoczy
  • Mark Romanick


Aging is associated with an accumulation of oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and DNA. Cellular mechanisms designed to prevent oxidative damage decline with aging and in diseases associated with aging. A long-lived mouse, the Ames dwarf, exhibits growth hormone deficiency and heightened antioxidative defenses. In contrast, animals that over express GH have suppressed antioxidative capacity and live half as long as wild type mice. In this study, we examined the generation of H2O2 from liver mitochondria of Ames dwarf and wild type mice and determined the level of oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and DNA in various tissues of these animals. Dwarf liver mitochondria (24 months) produced less H2O2 than normal liver in the presence of succinate (p<0.03) and ADP (p<0.003). Levels of oxidative DNA damage (8ÕHdG) were variable and dependent on tissue and age in dwarf and normal mice. Forty-seven percent fewer protein carbonyls were detected in 24-month old dwarf liver tissue compared to controls (p<0.04). Forty percent more (p<0.04) protein carbonyls were detected in liver tissue (3-month old) of GH transgenic mice compared to wild types while 12 month old brain tissue had 53% more protein carbonyls compared to controls (p<0.005). Levels of liver malonaldehyde (lipid peroxidation) were not different at 3 and 12 months of age but were greater in Ames dwarf mice at 24 months compared to normal mice. Previous studies indicate a strong negative correlation between plasma GH levels and antioxidative defense. Taken together, these studies show that altered GH-signaling may contribute to differences in the generation of reactive oxygen species, the ability to counter oxidative stress and life span.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly Brown-Borg
    • 1
  • W. Thomas Johnson
    • 2
  • Sharlene Rakoczy
    • 1
  • Mark Romanick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and TherapeuticsUniversity of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesGrand Forks
  2. 2.USDA Human Nutrition Research CenterGrand Forks

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