, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 215–220 | Cite as

Increased effective activity of rat liver catalase by dietary restriction

  • Ritchie J. Feuers
  • Richard Weindruch
  • Julian E.A. Leakey
  • Peter H. Duffy
  • Ronald W. Hart


While dietary restriction (DR) increases maximum life span in many animal species, the mechanisms by which this is achieved remain unclear. One possibility is that DR may act in part to reduce free radical levels by retarding age-related declines in rat liver catalase activity. We measured liver cytosolic catalase activity at various times of day in 9–12 month old male (BN X F344)F1 rats fed ad libitum (AL) or subjected to a 30% DR from 14 weeks of age. Catalase activity (expressed as μmol·min−1·g liver−1) in both diet groups reached minimums at 0600 h but activity was 26% higher in DR as compared to AL rats. This traditional expression of catalase activity did not significantly differ between diet groups at other times of day. One must be careful in the interpretation of such data, however, since catalase is rapidly inactivated by its substrate (H2O2), thus displaying abnormal enzyme kinetics. In order to avoid this difficulty we evaluated the time period during which the reaction remained linear and multiplied it by its activity to yield the effective catalase activity. Using this method we found a significant increase in catalase activity in DR animals at several H2O2 concentrations during the light span. At 1800 h (the beginning of the dark span when the controls initiated peak food intake), fewer and smaller dietary differences were observed and no dietary effects were observed at 2400 h. These data suggest that DR reduces the rate of accumulation of inactive catalase and may contribute to an increased capacity in DR animals to remove free radicals.


Catalase Catalase Activity Dietary Restriction Diet Group H2O2 Concentration 
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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ritchie J. Feuers
    • 1
  • Richard Weindruch
    • 2
  • Julian E.A. Leakey
  • Peter H. Duffy
    • 1
  • Ronald W. Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.National Center for Toxicological ResearchJefferson
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of WisconsinMadison

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