Effect of an Inhibitor of Nitric Oxide Production on Cu-Zn/SOD and Its Cofactors in Diabetic Rats

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an inhibitor of nitric oxide production, Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl esther (L-NAME) on Cu-Zn/SOD (superoxide dismutase) enzyme activity and copper and zinc concentrations in diabetes-induced rats. The control group consisted of 12 male albino Sprague–Dawley rats, 10–12 wk of age and weighing 300 g. Twenty-six albino Sprague–Dawley rats, 10–12 wk of age and weighing 315 g, constituted the experimental group. The experimental group was divided into two groups. The first group (n=12) constituted streptozotocin-induced (55 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) diabetic rats and the second group (n=14) was administered L-NAME (1 mg/kg/d) after streptozotocin induction. For determination of Cu-Zn/SOD activity, spectrophotometry was used. Zinc and copper concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry.Results showed that Cu-Zn/SOD activity was increased significantly in both experimental groups compared to controls, and the increase in the second group was higher than in the first group (p <0.01, p <0.01, p <0.05). Plazma zinc concentration was increased in the second group when com-pared with controls (p <0.05). Plasma copper was decreased significantly in the second group compared to controls and the first group (p <0.001, p <0.001). Red cell copper concentration was decreased significantly in the first group compared to controls (p <0.05). This study showed that L-NAME administration has ensured an additive effect on the antioxidant defense system, which was proved by the increase in Cu-Zn/SOD activity. This increase might have a protective effect against tissue damage in the acute period, with corresponding changes in zinc and copper concentrations.

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