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Levels and interactions of plasma xanthine oxidase, catalase and liver function parameters in Nigerian children with Plasmodium falciparum infection

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Abstract:

Iwalokun BA, Bamiro SB, Ogunledun A. Levels and interactions of plasma xanthine oxidase, catalase and liver function parameters in Nigerian children with Plasmodium falciparum infection. APMIS 2006;114:842–50.

Elevated plasma levels of xanthine oxidase and liver function parameters have been associated with inflammatory events in several human diseases. While xanthine oxidase provides in vitro protection against malaria, its pathophysiological functions in vivo and interactions with liver function parameters remain unclear. This study examined the interactions and plasma levels of xanthine oxidase (XO) and uric acid (UA), catalase (CAT) and liver function parameters GOT, GPT and bilirubin in asymptomatic (n=20), uncomplicated (n=32), and severe (n=18) falciparum malaria children aged 3–13 years. Compared to age-matched control (n=16), significant (p<0.05) elevation in xanthine oxidase by 100–550%, uric acid by 15.4–153.8%, GOT and GPT by 22.1–102.2%, and total bilirubin by 2.3–86% according to parasitaemia (geometric mean parasite density (GMPD)=850–87100 parasites/μL) was observed in the malarial children. Further comparison with control revealed higher CAT level (16.2±0.5 vs 14.6±0.4 U/L; p<0.05) lacking significant (p>0.05) correlation with XO, but lower CAT level (13.4–5.4 U/L) with improved correlations (r=−0.53 to −0.91; p<0.05) with XO among the asymptomatic and symptomatic malaria children studied. 75% of control, 45% of asymptomatic, 21.9% of uncomplicated, and none of severe malaria children had Hb level>11.0 g/dL. Multivariate analyses further revealed significant (p<0.05) correlations between liver function parameters and xanthine oxidase (r=0.57–0.64) only in the severe malaria group. We conclude that elevated levels of XO and liver enzymes are biochemical features of Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in Nigerian children, with both parameters interacting differently to modulate the catalase response in asymptomatic and symptomatic falciparum malaria.

Keywords: Nigeria; Plasmodium falciparum malaria; Xanthine oxidase; catalase activity; liver function parameters

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2006.apm_457.x

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, and 2: Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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