Developmental changes in antioxidant enzymes and oxidative damage in kidneys, liver and brain of bcl-2 knockout mice.

A. Hochman*, H. Liang, D. Offen, E. Melamed, H. Sternin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While programmed cell death is induced by a variety of internal and external stimuli, including reactive oxygen species, the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 is involved in opposing cell death and affects the antioxidant status of cells. Since the exact mechanism of its action is uncertain, in this study we examined the role of Bcl-2 using a loss of function model, Bcl-2 knockout mice. The consequence of Bcl-2 knockout was assessed in kidneys, liver and brain, using protein carbonyls and cellular levels of antioxidant enzymes as markers of oxidative stress. Kidney extracts from 8 days-old Bcl-2-knockout mice had 59% higher content of protein carbonyls relative to the wild type, but similar levels of oxidized proteins at the age of 30 days. By marked contrast, in liver and brain, levels of protein carbonyls were similar at 8 days but by 30 days the liver of knockout animals (and brains, as we have shown previously) show 36% higher protein carbonyls. Measures of glutathione reductase (GRX), glutathione transferase (GST) and catalase revealed significantly higher levels in kidneys of 8 days old Bcl-2-knockout mice compared to wild type. By 30 days activities of glutathione-related enzymes and catalase increased and abolished the differences between the knockout and wild type. At 8 days, in liver there were no significant differences in activities of all enzymes between the mice, however by 30 days, the specific activity of GRX was significantly higher in Bcl-2-knockout mice, relative to controls. From day 8 to day 30 there was an increase in liver catalase activity that resulted in significantly higher levels in Bcl-2-knockout animals. Catalase activity in brains of Bcl-2-knockout, 8 days old mice was significantly higher compared to the wild type, and significantly lowers at 30 days. Taken together our findings indicate that Bcl-2 knockout results in significant perturbations of oxidative metabolism and antioxidant status of in kidney, liver and brain. Such changes are tissue specific with respect to age, magnitude and type of enzyme affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


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