SULM – Schweizerische Union für Labormedizin | Union Suisse de Médecine de Laboratoire | Swiss Union of Laboratory Medicine

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M. Prezelj1 , M. Krsnik1 , M. Schara2

1University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Biochemistry, Slovenia, 2Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

We measured the enzyme acticity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase (CAT) in erythrocytes from 19 patients with myelodisplastyc syndrome (MDS), untransfused, before therapy, not classified according to the FAB criteria, therefore treated uniformly (37 to 80 years old, median age 66), and 22 healthy volunteers with median age of 44 years.
We found that in erytrocytes of the MDS group the mean activity of SOD was significant lower (p=0,016), and of GPx significant higher (p=0.040) as mean enzyme activity in healthy group. On the other hand the mean activity of CAT determined for MDS patients was not significant higher (p=0,058), as evaluated with Mann-Whitney test.
The first defence line against free radicals are enzymes, such as SOD, GPx or CAT, that catalyse the conversion of the reactive oxygen species to less reactive forms. In MDS patients the higher activity of GPx, the enzyme responsible for catabolizing H2O2, is in accordance with the results obtained by other studies of haematological patients, where a high non-transferin bound iron, higher level of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) with diminished glutathione (GSH) concentration were determined. High enzyme activity of GPx and CAT in erythrocytes from MDS patient could be explained as the protection against formation of the most reactive hydroxyl radicals which could evolve by with already present high concentration of non-protein bound iron, if H2O2 is not removed. The H2O2 concentration produced by low rates in normal erythrocytes is compensated by GPx which might be an advantage to the SOD activity which acts via the undesirable present of H2O2.
Given the already present high concentration of non-protein bound iron, we can conclude, that the erythrocytes of the MDS patients probably developed the antioxidants defence to avert the danger of possible damage by hydroxyl radicals.

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