Chronic hyperbaric oxygen treatment elicits an anti-oxidant response and attenuates atherosclerosis in apoE knockout mice

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jul;193(1):28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.08.018. Epub 2006 Sep 14.


We previously demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment inhibits diet-induced atherosclerosis in New Zealand White rabbits. In the present study we investigate the mechanisms that might be involved in the athero-protective effect of HBO treatment in a well-accepted model of atherosclerosis, the apoE knockout (KO) mouse. We examine the effects of daily HBO treatment (for 5 and 10 weeks) on the components of the anti-oxidant defense mechanism and the redox state in blood, liver and aortic tissues and compare them to those of untreated apoE KO mice. HBO treatment results in a significant reduction of aortic cholesterol content and decreased fatty streak formation. These changes are accompanied by a significant reduction of autoantibodies against oxidatively modified LDL and profound changes in the redox state of the liver and aortic tissues. A 10-week treatment significantly reduces hepatic levels of TBARS and oxidized glutathione, while significantly increases the levels of reduced glutathione, glutathione reductase (GR), transferase, Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase and catalase (CAT). The effects of HBO treatment are similar in the aortic tissues. These observations provide evidence that HBO treatment has a powerful effect on the redox state of relevant tissues and produces an environment that inhibits oxidation. The anti-oxidant response may be the key to the anti-atherogenic effect of HBO treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Disulfide / metabolism
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / immunology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rabbits
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Autoantibodies
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Cholesterol
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione Disulfide