Vitamin A deficiency induces prooxidant environment and inflammation in rat aorta

Laura Gatica, Silvina Alvarez, Nidia Gomez, Maria Paola Zago, Patricia Oteiza, Liliana Oliveros, Maria Sofia Gimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We evaluated whether nutritional vitamin A deficiency generates oxidative stress and inflammation in aorta. Wistar male rats (21 days old) were given free access to a control (8 mg retinol as retinyl palmitate/kg) or a vitamin A-deficient diet for three months. One group of deficient animals was fed with the control diet fifteen days before sacrifice. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and nitrite concentration where both analyzed in serum and aorta. Aorta Copper-Zinc Superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), Glutathion peroxidase (GPx) and Catalase (CAT) activities were measured. In addition, binding activity of the nuclear factor- kB (NF-kB), inducible and endothelial Nitric Oxide synthase (iNOS and eNOS, respectively) and Ciclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expressions were determinated in aorta. Rats fed the vitamin A- deficient diet were characterized by sub-clinical plasma retinol concentration and showed increased serum and aorta concentrations of TBARS compared to controls. Lower than control activities of CuZnSOD, GPx, and CAT were observed in aorta of the vitamin A-deficient group. The binding activity of NF- kB was higher in vitamin A- deficient animals than controls. In addition, NO production evaluated as nitrite concentration increased in aorta and serum, associated with a higher expression of iNOS, eNOS and COX-2 in aorta of vitamin A-deficient rats. The incorporation of vitamin A into the diet of vitamin A-deficient rats reverted the changes observed in TBARS level, CuZnSOD and GPx activities, nitrite concentration and also, iNOS, eNOS and COX-2 expression. Prooxidant environment and inflammation are induced by vitamin A deficiency in rat aorta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Aorta
  • Inflammation
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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