Changes in gene expression level for defense system enzymes against oxidative stress and glutathione level in rat administered paraquat.Int J Mol Med. 2005 Apr; 15(4):689-93.IJ
The herbicide paraquat (PQ) forms reactive oxygen species during enzymatic activation. We examined the effect of PQ on the relative levels of gene expression of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione (GSH) status in lungs of rats exposed to 20 mg/kg PQ. At 16 h after PQ intake, the mRNA expression level of glutathione reductase (GR) showed the greatest increase, and those of catalase (CAT) and manganese-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) showed more modest increases. In contrast, PQ had little or no effect on the levels of mRNAs for copper/zinc-superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX). These findings indicate that CAT and MnSOD are coordinated and play a major role in removal of oxidants. On the other hand, PQ caused a significant increase in the GSH level in the lungs, but not in the liver. This increase in the lungs was, at least in part, caused by stimulation of the gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase gene. However, the expression of GPX mRNA was not stimulated as described above. Because GSH is a substrate for GPX and serves as a scavenger of hydroxyl radicals, the increase in GSH as well as GR expression may be insignificant. This imbalance may be a result of oxidative stress due to PQ.