- Volume 15 Issue 1
Oxidants in environment or cigarette smoke are known to be implicated in the oxidative damages of pulmonary system. Such cellular damages are prevented by the presence of adequate levels of antioxidants in the tissue. In the present study, we investigated the influences of smoking duration and concentration of smoke on lung antioxidant defense in rats. Subchronic exposure of rats to smoke generated from 6 cigarettes per day for 90 days caused the activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) to increase. However, glutathione peroxidase (GP-Xase) was not significantly changed. Total sulfhydryl compounds (Total-SH) in the lung homogenates from the rats inhaled with cigarette smoke for 15 days was decreased by 44% , thereafter it was returned to the level of normal rats. On the contrary, when rats were daily exposed to a different concentration of smoke generated from 1 to 20 cigarettes per day for 15 days, the activity of catalase was increased gradually with dose, but total SOD activity was increased only in the rats of low dose groups less than 5 cigarettes. Three types of SOD (one Cu, Zn-SOD with pI 4.9, and two Zn-SOD with pI 4.7 and 7.9)were detected in the lung homogenates and Zn-SOD with pI 4.7 was the major and cigarette-smoke inducible form. These results indicate that the protection of lung against oxidants from cigarette smoke seems to be accomplished by the induction of catalase and SOD, especially a cyanide resistant Zn-SOD with pI 4.f, following the consumption of antioxidants such as GSH in the beginning of inhalation period.