Impact of intravenous oxygen therapy on the expression of reticulocyte-type 15-lipoxygenase in human volunteers

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Nov;71(5):271-6. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2004.03.022.


Intravenous oxygen infusion is used in complementary medicine to fight inflammatory disorders and repeated application of this therapeutic method leads to an increase in eosinophilic granulocytes in the peripheral blood. Since this subset of human peripheral leukocytes are known to express large amounts of the reticulocyte-type 15-lipoxygenase (15-lipoxygenase 1), which was suggested to exhibit anti-inflammatory activities, we profiled expression of this enzyme in the peripheral blood during the time course of typical oxygen infusion therapy. For this purpose seven volunteers were treated with intravenous infusion of oxygen gas for 4 weeks and the time-course of 15-lipoxygenase expression as well as the eosinophil count were monitored during and after the treatment interval. We found that 15-lipoxygenase 1 expression and the eosinophil count were significantly increased during the treatment period but returned to normal after the therapy was stopped. There was a striking correlation between the relative number of 15-lipoxygenase transcripts and the eosinophil counts suggesting eosinophils as major source of 15-lipoxygenase 1 expression. Since 15-lipoxygenase has been implicated in the resolving phase of acute inflammatory diseases the anti-inflammatory effects of intravenous oxygen infusion may be explained at least in part by our experimental findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arachidonate 15-Lipoxygenase / blood*
  • Arachidonate 15-Lipoxygenase / genetics
  • Eosinophils
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Kinetics
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Messenger / blood
  • Reticulocytes / enzymology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Arachidonate 15-Lipoxygenase
  • Oxygen