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Exposure to high altitude in hypobaric hypoxia (HH) is considered to be a physiological oxidative/nitrosative stress. Quercetin (Que) is an effective antioxidant and free radical scavenger against oxidative/nitrosative stress.


The aim of this study was to investigate the cardioprotective effects of Que in animals exposed to intermittent HH (IHH) and therefore exposed to oxidative/nitrosative stress.

Materials and methods

Wistar albino male rats were exposed to short-term (2 days) or long-term (4 weeks; 5 days/week) IHH in a hypobaric chamber (5,500 m, 8 h/day, 380 mmHg, 12% O2, and 88% N2). Half of the animals received natural antioxidant Que (body weight: 30 mg/kg) daily before each IHH exposure and the remaining rats received vehicle (carboxymethylcellulose solution). Control rats were kept under normobaric normoxia (Nx) and treated in a corresponding manner. One day after the last exposure to IHH, we measured the cardiac hypoxia-induced oxidative/nitrosative stress biomarkers: the malondialdehyde (MDA) level and protein carbonyl (PC) content, the activity of some antioxidant enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)], the nitrite plus nitrate (NOx) production, and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression.


Heart tissue MDA and PC levels, NOx level, and iNOS expression of IHH-exposed rats had increased, and SOD and CAT activities had decreased compared with those of the Nx-exposed rats (control groups). MDA, CP, NOx, and iNOS levels had decreased in Que-treated IHH-exposed rats compared with IHH-exposed rats (control groups). However, Que administration increased SOD and CAT activities of the heart tissue in the IHH-exposed rats.


HH exposure increases oxidative/nitrosative stress in heart tissue and Que is an effective cardioprotective agent, which further supports the oxidative cardiac dysfunction induced by hypoxia.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors: Simona Clichici, T. Mocan, A. Filip, A. Biris, S. Simon, D. Daicoviciu, N. Decea, A. Parvu, R. Moldovan, and A. Muresan

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been proposed for various medical applications. However, their safety for human administration has not been yet fully demonstrated. In vitro studies have pointed oxidative stress as a mechanism involved in their cytotoxic effects. In the present study we have evaluated the capacity of DNA functionalized SWCNTs to induce oxidative stress in blood after intraperitoneal (ip) administration in rats. The presence of SWCNTs in blood was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy 30 minutes after their ip administration. Oxidative stress parameters (malondialdehyde — MDA, protein carbonyls — PC, antioxidant capacity measured as hydrogen donating capacity — HD, sulfhydryl groups — SH, glutathione — GSH and nitrites — NO) were assessed in blood at 3, 6, 24, respectively, and 48 hours after ip injection. MDA, PC and NO exhibited a significant increase at 3-6 hours interval from exposure, followed by a recovery trend. The levels of HD reached a bottom level at 6 hours after administration, while SH strongly decreased at 3 hours interval and increased slightly up to 48 hours without attending the initial values. GSH level recorded an increasing tendency at the 3rd hour, an incomplete recovery process at 24 hours followed by a secondary significant increase following a 48-hour interval. Significant inverse correlations were obtained between the PC and SH levels and between the NO and HD values. In conclusion, the ip administration of DNA functionalized SWCNT in rats results in oxidative stress generation in plasma, with a transient pattern of evolution.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors: S. Maghraoui, Simona Clichici, A. Ayadi, C. Login, R. Moldovan, D. Daicoviciu, N. Decea, A. Mureşan, and L. Tekaya

Aluminum (Al) and indium (In) have embryotoxic, neurotoxic and genotoxic effects, oxidative stress being one of the possible mechanisms involved in their cytotoxicity. We have recently demonstrated that indium intraperitoneal (ip) administration induced histological disorganization of testicular tissue. In the present research we aimed at investigating the effect of Al and In ip administration on systemic and testicular oxidative stress status. Studies were performed on Wistar rats ip injected with Al, In or physiological solution for two weeks. Our results showed that In significantly decreased the absolute weight of testicles. Measurements of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and paraoxonase (PON) activities showed that In induced a significant augmentation in the first parameter but no changes were observed in the second. Both Al and In caused oxidative stress in testicles by increasing malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyls (PC) production. Concomitantly, thiol group (—SH) and glutathione (GSH) level were enhanced in the testicles. In the blood, while concentrations of MDA was not changed, those of GSH was significantly decreased in the Al and In groups. Our results indicated that Al and In cause oxidative stress both in blood and testicles but In has cytotoxic effect as well as negative impact on testicle weights. These findings could explain the testicular histological alterations previously described after In ip administration.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors: Diana Olteanu, A. Filip, A. Mureşan, A. Nagy, F. Tabaran, R. Moldovan, N. Decea, C. Catoi, and S. Clichici

Inflammation and oxidative stress are important pathways in the development of liver fibrosis following biliary obstruction.Aim: To evaluate the effects of low dose dexamethasone and chitosan, a natural compound with no side-effects, on liver damage caused by bile duct ligation in rats.Materials and methods: Fifty female Wistar rats, randomly and equally divided in 5 groups: I (SHAM) underwent only laparotomy, II (BDL) with bile duct ligation, III (DEX) 0.125 mg/kg dexamethasone i.m. daily, IV (CS) 1 mg/kg chitosan by gavage and group V (DEX+CS), both substances. After six days, the following parameters were assessed from liver homogenates: malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyls (PC), reduced glutathione (GSH), total SH groupings, nitric oxide (NO), and from plasma: MDA, γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total bilirubin (TB). A histopathological examination was performed using some of the elements of the Knodell Histological Activity Index.Results: BDL significantly increases the levels of MDA, liver enzymes, and the necro-inflammatory score compared to the sham group and it decreases the antioxidant capacity. DEX protects against lipid peroxidation and improves the antioxidant capacity, but it is not able to protect the hepatocytes. Chitosan significantly decreases (p<0.05) the levels of MDA (0.07±0.01 vs 0.10±0.01 nmoles/mg protein BDL group, p=0.027) and also ALT, TB, GGT and reduces liver necrosis and inflammation (2.75±0.95 vs 1±0, p<0.05). Both CS and DEX reduce the level of NO significantly.Conclusion: BDL induces severe oxidative stress damage after six days already. Chitosan proved very efficient in protecting the hepatocytes against oxidative stress, a fact supported by the histological findings.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors: Simona Clichici, C. Catoi, T. Mocan, A. Filip, C. Login, A. Nagy, D. Daicoviciu, N. Decea, C. Gherman, R. Moldovan, and Adriana Muresan

Oxidative stress is related to the liver fibrosis, anticipating the hepatic stellate cells’ (HSC) activation. Our aim was to correlate oxidative stress markers with the histological liver alterations in order to identify predictive, noninvasive parameters of fibrosis progression in the evolution of toxic hepatitis.CCl4 in sunflower oil was administered to rats intragastrically, twice a week. After 2, 3, 4 and 8 weeks of treatment, plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyls (PC), hydrogen donor capacity (HD), sulfhydryl groups (SH), and glutathione (GSH) were measured and histological examination of the liver slides was performed. Dynamics of histological disorders was assessed by The Knodell score. Significant elevation of inflammation grade was obtained after the second week of the experiment only (p=0.001), while fibrosis started to become significant (p=0.001) after 1 month of CCl4 administration. Between plasma MDA and liver fibrosis development a good correlation was obtained (r=0.877, p=0.05). Correlation between PC dynamics and liver alterations was marginally significant for inflammation grade (r=0.756, p=0.138). HD evolution revealed a marginally inverse correlation with inflammation grade (r=−0.794, p=0.108). No correlations could be established for other parameters with either inflammation grade or fibrosis stage.Our study shows that MDA elevation offers the best prediction potential for fibrosis, while marginal prediction fiability could be attributed to high levels of plasma PC and low levels of HD.

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