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ABSTRACT: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been reported to elicit oxidative stress, which in turn can induce antioxidant enzymes. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) has received particular attention in this respect, as this enzyme is specifically required for the degradation of lipid hydroperoxides. Because we previously found that DHA could protect against oxidative stress when used in low amounts, we have compared the effect of a low (10 microM) versus high (100 microM) concentration of DHA on oxidant/antioxidant balance in bovine retinal and bovine aortic endothelial cells (BREC and BAEC). At 100 microM, DHA elicited a marked oxidative stress, as evidenced by high malondialdehyde levels and decreased plasmalogen phosphatidylethanolamine in both cells, and for BAEC only, a decrease of alpha-tocopherol. At 10 microM, DHA induced a slight increase of malondialdehyde in both cells, but did not affect alpha-tocopherol levels, which is indicative of a mild oxidative stress. In BREC, 10 microM DHA slightly but significantly decreased cytosolic GPx (cGPx) activity whereas 100 microM had no effect. In contrast, in BAEC, DHA 10 microM did not affect cGPx activity, whereas 100 microM increased it. The decreased cGPx activity in BREC was associated with a lower level of protein, suggesting a transcriptional and/or posttranscriptional effect. Phospholipid hydroperoxide GPx (PHGPx) activity was not modified by DHA at either concentration in BREC, whereas it was increased in BAEC when using 100 microM. Our results confirm that large amounts of DHA lead to oxidative stress, but do no support an antioxidant action of DHA at low concentration, in endothelium. Nevertheless, we showed that DHA can exert opposite effects on GPx regulation in endothelial cells, with regard to its concentration and to vascular bed origin.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 05/2001; 30(8):895-904. · 5.27 Impact Factor