Effects of oxidative stress on expression of extracellular superoxide dismutase, CuZn-superoxide dismutase and Mn-superoxide dismutase in human dermal fibroblasts

Biochem J. 1994 Mar 1;298 ( Pt 2)(Pt 2):347-52. doi: 10.1042/bj2980347.


To determine the effect of oxidative stress on expression of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD), CuZn-SOD and Mn-SOD, two fibroblast lines were exposed for periods of up to 4 days to a wide concentration range of oxidizing agents: xanthine oxidase plus hypoxanthine, paraquat, pyrogallol, alpha-naphthoflavone, hydroquinone, catechol, Fe2+ ions, Cu2+ ions, buthionine sulphoximine, diethylmaleate, t-butyl hydroperoxide, cumene hydroperoxide, selenite, citiolone and high oxygen partial pressure. The cell lines were cultured both under serum starvation and at a serum concentration that permitted growth. Under no condition was there any evidence of EC-SOD induction. Instead, the agents uniformly, dose-dependently and continuously reduced EC-SOD expression. We interpret the effect to be due to toxicity. Enhancement of the protection against oxidative stress by addition of CuZn-SOD, catalase and low concentrations of selenite did not influence the expression of any of the SOD isoenzymes. Removal of EC-SOD from cell surfaces by heparin also did not influence SOD expression. Mn-SOD was moderately induced by high doses of the first 11 oxidants. Apart from reduction at high toxic doses, there were no significant effects on the CuZn-SOD activity by any of the treatments. Thus EC-SOD, previously shown to be profoundly influenced by inflammatory cytokines, was not induced by its substrate or other oxidants. In a similar fashion, Mn-SOD, previously shown to be greatly induced and depressed by cytokines, was only moderately influenced by oxidants. We suggest that the regulation of these SOD isoenzymes in mammalian tissues primarily occurs in a manner co-ordinated by cytokines, rather than as a response of individual cells to oxidants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Oxidants / pharmacology*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*


  • Oxidants
  • Superoxide Dismutase