Antioxidant enzymes in cerebral cortex of immature rats following experimentally-induced seizures: upregulation of mitochondrial MnSOD (SOD2)

Int J Dev Neurosci. 2013 Apr;31(2):123-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2012.11.011. Epub 2012 Dec 10.


We have recently demonstrated the evidence of oxidative stress in brain of immature rats during seizures induced by DL-homocysteic acid (DL-HCA). The aim of the present study was to investigate the antioxidant defense mechanisms under these conditions. Seizures were induced in immature 12-day-old rats by bilateral icv infusion of DL-HCA (600 nmol/side), and the activities of the main antioxidant enzymes were examined in supernatants of the cerebral cortex during the acute phase of seizures and at several periods of survival, up to 5 weeks, following these seizures. In control animals individual antioxidant enzymes revealed different changes during the studied postnatal period (PD 12 till PD 47). Total superoxide dismutase (SOD), CuZn SOD (SOD1), Mn SOD (SOD2) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities were increasing while, catalase activity decreased and the activity of glutathione reductase (GR) remained unchanged. In HCA-treated animals, the activity of total SOD, SOD1 and particularly SOD2 significantly increased at 20 h and 6 days of survival. Importantly, upregulation of SOD2 was also confirmed in mitochondria at the protein level by immunoblotting. The activities of other antioxidant enzymes including catalase and GPX did not significantly differ upon HCA treatment from the appropriate controls at any of the studied time intervals. The pronounced and selective upregulation of SOD2 points to enhanced ROS levels in the mitochondrial matrix. This may be associated with inhibition of respiratory chain complex I that we have demonstrated in our previous studies. The present findings suggest that oxidative stress occurring in the brain of immature rats during and following the seizures induced by DL-HCA is apparently due to both the increased free radical production and the limited antioxidant defense.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Seizures / enzymology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • superoxide dismutase 2