Oxidative Stress in Erythrocytes from Premature and Full-term Infants During their First 72 h of Life

Authors: Ochoa, Julio J.; Carmen Ramirez-Tortosa, M.; Quiles, José L.; Palomino, Narcisa; Robles, Rafael; Mataix, José; Huertas, Jesús R.

Source: Free Radical Research, Volume 37, Number 3, 1 January 2003 , pp. 317-322(6)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of lipid peroxidation and the response of the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defence system in erythrocytes from full-term and premature infants at birth, after 3 and after 72 h of life.

Study design: Twenty infants were selected and divided in two groups according to their gestational age. Blood samples were taken at birth, at 3 and at 72 h of life, erythrocytes were isolated and the following parameters were measured: fatty-acid profile, coenzyme Q, α-tocopherol, hydroperoxides and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and cytosolic glutathione peroxidase (cGPx).

Results: For the three studied periods, several differences between full-term and premature infants were found. Premature children showed a higher concentration of hydroperoxides, a lower level of α-tocopherol and lower SOD and cGPx activity (except for cGPx at birth). Moreover, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty-acids percentages (essential for good neonatal development) were higher in full term children throughout all the study.

Conclusion: Results suggest a strong imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in premature infants during their first 72 h of life, a situation which could lead to several pathologies. Therefore, further research is needed, including possible nutritional intervention (with antioxidant therapy, supplementation of essential fatty acids and other dietary constituents) before and after birth.

Keywords: Antioxidant system; Erythrocyte; Fatty-acid profile; Lipid peroxidation; Prematurity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1071576021000050438

Affiliations: Neonatal Unit, Department of Paediatrics, Universitary Hospital "Virgen de las Nieves", Granada, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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