Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Premature birth is a major problem that results in an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. The management of such infants consists of supraphysiological oxygen therapy, which affects brain development due, in part, to the deterioration caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). We showed previously that exogenously administered uridine provides neuroprotection in a neonatal rat model of hyperoxic brain injury. Hence, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of uridine on ROS in the same setting. Materials and methods: Hyperoxic brain injury was induced by subjecting a total of 53 six-day-old rat pups to 80% oxygen (the hyperoxia group) for a period of 48 h. The pups in the normoxia group continued breathing room air (21% oxygen). Normoxia + saline or hyperoxia + saline or hyperoxia + uridine 100 mg/kg or hyperoxia + uridine 300 mg/kg or hyperoxia + uridine 500 mg/kg was injected intraperitoneally (i. p.) 15 min prior to the hyperoxia procedure. The pups were decapitated and the brains were homogenized to analyze superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and malondialdehyde (MDA) enzymes as well as DJ-1 (protein deglycase DJ-1) -- an oxidative stress-sensitive protein. Results: Hyperoxia-induced may cause overproduction of oxygen radicals and the oxidant/antioxidant balance may be disturbed in the brain. Brain MPO and MDA levels were significantly increased in saline-receiving pups exposed to hyperoxia. Brain SOD and GSHPx levels were significantly decreased in saline-receiving pups exposed to hyperoxia. Our results showed that uridine administration prevented the hyperoxia-induced decrease in SOD and GSH-Px while counteracting the hyperoxia-induced increase in MPO and MDA in a dose-dependent manner. Uridine also increased the DJ-1 levels in brains of rat pups subjected to hyperoxia. Conclusion: These data suggest that uridine exhibits antioxidative properties which may mediate the protective effects of uridine in a neonatal rat model of hyperoxic brain injury.

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