Relevance of Non-ceruloplasmin Copper to Oxidative Stress in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Altered copper homeostasis and oxidative stress have been observed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Non-ceruloplasmin copper, the free form, is a potent pro-oxidant than the protein bound copper. The aim of the present study was to evaluate which form of copper can be correlated with the oxidative stress in the circulation and in the malignant liver tissues of hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Hepatocellular carcinoma patients (grades II and III, n = 18) were enrolled in this study. Serum levels of total, free and bound copper, ceruloplasmin, iron, iron-binding capacity, lipid peroxidation products, and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were quantified in serum and in malignant liver tissues and compared with those of normal samples (n = 20). A significant positive correlation between the serum non-ceruloplasmin copper and lipid peroxidation products and negative correlation with antioxidants were observed in hepatocellular carcinoma patients. In liver tissue, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase activity were significantly decreased with concomitant elevation in oxidative stress markers. Our experiment revealed that the elevation in non-ceruloplasmin copper has high relevance with the oxidative stress than the bound copper.

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Correspondence to Arumugam Geetha.

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Geetha, A., Saranya, P., Annie Jeyachristy, S. et al. Relevance of Non-ceruloplasmin Copper to Oxidative Stress in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Biol Trace Elem Res 130, 229–240 (2009).

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  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Non-ceruloplasmin copper
  • Oxidative stress
  • Antioxidants