Neuroprotective effect of intermittent hypoxia on iron-induced oxidative injury in rat brain

Anya M.Y. Lin*, C. F. Chen, L. T. Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The neuroprotective effect of intermittent hypoxia on ferrous citrate (iron)-induced oxidative stress was investigated in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system of rat brain. Female Wistar rats were subjected to 380 mm Hg in an altitude chamber for 15 h/day for 7, 14, or 28 days. Iron was locally infused in the substantia nigra of anesthetized rats. Seven days after infusion, lipid peroxidation was elevated in the infused substantia nigra and dopamine content and tyrosine hydroxylase-positive axons were decreased in the ipsilateral striatum in the normoxic rats. Intermittent hypoxic treatment prevented iron-induced oxidative injuries. Induction of the neuroprotection required 2 weeks. Intracerebroventricular infusion of L-buthionine-[S,R]-sulfoximine (L-BSO), which mimicked a reduced antioxidative condition, aggravated iron-induced oxidative injuries. Intermittent hypoxia ameliorated L-BSO-induced augmentation of iron-induced oxidative injuries. Basal GSH (glutathione) content, GSH/GSSG ratio, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activities in intact substantia nigra were not altered by intermittent hypoxia. Furthermore, intermittent hypoxia attenuated iron-induced reductions in GSH content, GSH/GSSG ratio, and SOD, iron-induced increase in catalase but had no effect on glutathione peroxidase. Our data suggest that intermittent hypoxia may protect the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system from iron-induced oxidative injuries. Moreover, antioxidative defensive systems may partially contribute to the neuroprotection by intermittent hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Antioxidative enzyme activity
  • GSH
  • GSH/GSSG ratio
  • Intermittent hypoxia
  • Iron
  • L-BSO
  • Oxidative injury


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