A Comparison Between the Specific Activity of Superoxide Dismutase in Juvenile Normal and Diabetic Blood Serum
Schneider, William V.
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Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an antioxidant enzyme that detoxifies reagents such as 02- that may come from metabolism, electron transport chain, and postischemic and inflamed tissue. Without SOD, the toxic reagents can accumulate to lethal concentrations and cause inhibition of protein synthesis, deoxyribose damage in DNA, lipid peroxidation, and gross cellular damage. This can lead to cellular dysfunction and death. Due to the fact that toxic oxygencentered radicals have been linked to B-cell damage brought about by alloxan and streptozotocin and might conceivably also be of importance in the pathogenesis of spontaneous insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), the specific activity of SOD was measured in juvenile diabetic blood serum and compared to the level found in juvenile normal blood serum. SOD activity and serum protein concentrations were determined by spectrophotometric assays. The data indicated a slight decrease, from 1.1 x 10 -7 to 0.20 x 10 -7, in SOD specific activity in diabetic blood serum compared to that in normal serum. This decrease in SOD specific activity in diabetic blood serum could potentially have serious short and long term consequences.