Age and sex-related changes in rat brain mitochondrial oxidative status.
ABSTRACT Mitochondria are the main source of free radical species and the most direct target for their damaging effects, which especially affect the brain mitochondrial function, which is better maintained by females than males. The aim of this work was to investigate the age-related changes in rat brain mitochondrial oxidative status focusing on sex differences. Male and female rat brain from four different age groups (6, 12, 18 and 24 months old) were analyzed. Oxidative damage accumulates in rat brain throughout aging, related to the increasing activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) and failure of several antioxidant defenses. The aging effect was less marked in females, which accumulated less oxidative damage than males due in part to their greater antioxidant capacity, such as higher GPx activity and higher UCP5 level. This sexual dimorphism gradually increased during aging.