Chronic Paracetamol Treatment Influences Indices of Reactive Oxygen Species Accumulation in the Aging Fischer 344 X Brown Norway Rat Aorta

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Abstract

Previous reports have demonstrated that increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and alterations in cell signaling characterize aging in the Fischer 344 X Brown Norway (FBN) rat aorta. Other work has suggested that increases in ROS may be related to vascular wall thickening and the development of hypertension. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is a potent antioxidant that has been found to diminish free radicals in ischemia-reperfusion studies. However, it remains unclear whether chronic paracetamol administration influences signaling or ROS accumulation in the aging aorta. FBN rats (27 months old; n=8) were subjected to 6 months of treatment with a therapeutic dose of paracetamol (30 mg/kg/day) and compared to age-matched untreated FBN rat controls (n=8). Compared to measurements in the aortae of 6-month old animals, tunica media thickness, tissue superoxide levels, and protein oxidation levels were 38 ± 7%, 92 ± 31%, and 7 ± 2% higher in the aortae of 33-month control animals (p ≤0.05). Chronic paracetamol treatment decreased tunica media thickness and the amount of oxidized protein by 13 ± 4% and 30 ± 1%, respectively (p ≤0.05). This finding of diminished aortic thickening was associated with increased phosphorylation (activation) of the mitogen activated protein kinases and diminished levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Taken together, these data suggest that chronic paracetamol treatment may decrease the deleterious effects of aging in the FBN rat aorta

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