The In Vitro Influence of a Genetic Superoxide-Hydrogen Peroxide Imbalance on Immunosenescence

Rejuvenation Res. 2017 Aug;20(4):334-345. doi: 10.1089/rej.2016.1892. Epub 2017 May 10.


As superoxide is a key molecule of inflammatory activation, superoxide-hydrogen peroxide (S-HP) imbalance genetically caused could alter immunosenescence patterns. To test this hypothesis, we collected and cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) carrier's different genotypes of a genetic polymorphism located in the superoxide dismutase manganese-dependent gene (Val16Ala-SOD2). We used an in vitro genetic model based on previous studies, which suggested an association between homozygous genotypes (AA and VV) and alterations in oxidative-inflammatory mediators. PBMCs collected from young healthy volunteers were cultured in the presence of phytohemagglutinin, as well as the following cell culture passages obtained from the 72-hour initial culture. Each follow passage started with the same cell concentration (1 × 105 cells). The general immunosenescence pattern was observed independent of SOD2 genotypes: cellular proliferation until the 15th passage, when cellular arrestment occurred in the G0/G1 phase. From the 10th passage, a higher proliferative state was observed, indicating inflammatory hyperactivation, with an increase in the levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, and TNFα), nitric oxide, superoxide, lipoperoxidation, protein carbonylation, reactive oxygen species, and DNA damage. The S-HP imbalance affected the intensity of some immunosenescence parameters. AA cells, which present basal high HP levels, were associated with higher DNA damage and lipoperoxidation levels, whereas VV, which present basal high S levels, was associated with higher proinflammatory cytokine levels. In summary, the results suggested that a basal S-HP imbalance could affect the intensity of some immunosenescence markers, and this influence could explain the potential association between an imbalance of genotypes (AA and VV) and the risk of developing some chronic diseases.

Keywords: MnSOD; SOD2; gene polymorphism; inflammation; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Immunosenescence*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Superoxides / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Superoxides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide