Interactions between chronic stress and chronic consumption of caffeine on the enzymatic antioxidant system.
ABSTRACT We studied the effect of chronic caffeine on parameters related to oxidative stress in different brain regions of stressed and non-stressed rats. Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control (receiving water), caffeine 0.3 g/L and caffeine 1.0 g/L (in the drinking water). These groups were subdivided into non-stressed and stressed (repeated restraint stress during 40 days). Lipid peroxide levels and the total radical-trapping potential were assessed, as well as antioxidant enzyme activities superoxide dismutase, gluthatione peroxidase, and catalase in hippocampus, striatum and cerebral cortex. Results showed interactions between stress and caffeine, especially in the cerebral cortex, since caffeine increased the activity of some antioxidant enzymes, but not in stressed animals. We concluded that chronic administration of caffeine led, in some cases, to increased activity of antioxidant enzymes. However, these effects were not observed in the stressed animals.