The effect of natural antioxidants, NAO and apocynin, on oxidative stress in the rat heart following LPS challenge

V. Ben-Shaul, L. Lomnitski, A. Nyska, Y. Zurovsky, M. Bergman, S. Grossman

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103 Scopus citations


Oxidative damage plays a key role in septic shock induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which is known to enhance the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, biochemical parameters indicative of oxidative stress were tested in the rat heart following LPS challenge, with and without pretreatment with the antioxidants NAO (natural antioxidant) and apocynin. NAO is a natural antioxidant isolated and purified from spinach and its main components are flavonoids and coumaric acid derivatives. Treatment with LPS alone significantly (P < 0.05) increased the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in heart, both in cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions by 1.5- and 2.4-fold, respectively, and in plasma (2.66 fold). In the heart homogenate, the level of hydroperoxides also increased significantly (P < 0.05). In addition, LPS treatment significantly (P < 0.05) increased NADPH oxidase activity in the heart microsomal fraction by approximately 10-fold compared to control. Pretreatment for 7 days with either apocynin or NAO prior to the LPS challenge significantly (P < 0.05) improved rat survival, decreased MDA levels in both fractions and decreased microsomal NADPH-oxidase activity, compared to LPS alone. Catalase (CAT) activity slightly increased at 24 h post-LPS injection in LPS group and returned to the control level in the apocynin treated group. No meaningful changes were indicated for glutathione peroxidase activity among all the treatment groups. The activities of cytosolic and mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes significantly (P < 0.05) increased approximately 20% in the LPS-treated group, compared to control. Apocynin significantly (P < 0.05) decreased SOD level in the mitochondrial fraction with no effect on the cytosolic fraction; whereas, NAO had no important effect on SOD level in both fractions. The beneficial pretreatment effects of the antioxidants against oxidative stress in the rat heart presented in this study may suggest a potential chemopreventive effect of this compound in sepsis prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2001


  • Heart
  • LPS
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Oxidative stress
  • Superoxide dismutase


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