Physiol. Res. 54: 527-532, 2005

Developmental Changes of Erythrocyte Catalase Activity in Rats Exposed to Acute Hypoxia


Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Center for Cardiovascular Research and 1Institute of Physiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Received September 17, 2004
Accepted November 12, 2004
On-line available January 10, 2005

The erythrocytes represent an important source of antioxidant capacity of the blood. Catalase (EC is one of the enzymatic components of their antioxidant defense system. The objective of this study was to follow erythrocyte catalase (CAT) in 7-, 15-, 21-, 35-, 60- and 90-day-old Wistar rats of both sexes in normoxia and after exposure to intensive acute hypobaric hypoxia. During the development CAT activity increases in both sexes, but the rise was usually higher in females. Hypobaric hypoxia increased CAT activity in all studied age groups of both sexes. However, higher CAT activity in females was less affected by hypoxia than the lower activity in males. This was true for nearly all age groups studied. It can be concluded that both ontogenetic aspects and sex differences play a major role in establishing the activity of CAT, which is an important part of the antioxidant defense of the organism.

Key words
Erythrocyte • Catalase • Development • Sex difference • Hypobaric hypoxia • Rat

© 2005 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences