Glutathione metabolism in heart and liver of the aging rat

Biochem Cell Biol. 1994 Jan-Feb;72(1-2):58-61. doi: 10.1139/o94-010.


A comprehensive study on glutathione metabolism in rat heart and liver as a function of age was performed. In the heart, reduced glutathione, total glutathione, and the glutathione redox index showed a decrease during aging, while oxidized glutathione levels increased in 5-month-old rats with respect to the young animals and remained quite constant in 14- and 27-month-old rats. In the liver, the highest levels of reduced glutathione were found in the 2-month-old rats, while oxidized glutathione reached a peak at 5 months. Glutathione-associated enzymes showed age-related changes. Glutathione peroxidase, unaffected by aging in the heart, decreased in the liver of the 27-month-old rats. In the heart and the liver, the highest values of glutathione S-transferase were found at 5 months and 27 months, respectively. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase followed a similar trend in both heart and liver. Glutathione reductase also showed the same behaviour in heart and in liver, increasing in old rats with respect to the other age groups. A decrease in gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase was found in the heart and liver of 27-month-old rats in comparison with the 2-month-old ones. In conclusion, a decreased antioxidant capability has been demonstrated in both heart and liver of old rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase / metabolism
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase
  • Glutathione