Vitamin C depletion increases superoxide generation in brains of SMP30/GNL knockout mice.
ABSTRACT Vitamin C (VC) has a strong antioxidant function evident as its ability to scavenge superoxide radicals in vitro. We verified that this property actually exists in vivo by using a real-time imaging system in which Lucigenin is the chemiluminescent probe for detecting superoxide in senescence marker protein-30 (SMP30)/gluconolactonase (GNL) knockout (KO) mice, which cannot synthesize VC in vivo. SMP30/GNL KO mice were given 1.5 g/L VC [VC(+)] for 2, 4, or 8 weeks or denied VC [VC(-)]. At 4 and 8 weeks, VC levels in brains from VC(-) KO mice were <6% of that in VC(+) KO mice. Accordingly, superoxide-dependent chemiluminescence levels determined by ischemia-reperfusion at the 4- and 8 weeks test intervals were 3.0-fold and 2.1-fold higher, respectively, in VC(-) KO mice than in VC(+) KO mice. However, total superoxide dismutase activity and protein levels were not altered. Thus, VC depletion specifically increased superoxide generation in a model of the living brain.