Author(s): Gutowicz M, Kamierczak B, BaraczykKuma A
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Abstract Heroin is an illicit narcotic abused by millions of people worldwide. In our earlier studies we have shown that heroin intoxication changes the antioxidant status in human brain. In the present work we continued our studies by estimating the effect of heroin abuse on reduced glutathione (GSH) and enzymes related to this cofactor, such as glutathione S-transferase detoxifying electrophilics (GST) and organic peroxides (as Se-independent glutathione peroxidase-GSHPx), and Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase (Se-GSHPx) specific mainly for hydrogen peroxide. Studies were conducted on human brains obtained from autopsy of 9 heroin abusers and 8 controls. The level of GSH and the activity of glutathione-related enzymes were determined spectrophotometrically. The expression of GST pi on mRNA and protein level was studied by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The results indicated significant increase of GST and GSHPx activities, unchanged Se-GSHPx activity, and decreased level of GSH in frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortex, brain stem, hippocampus, and white matter of heroin abusers. GST pi expression was increased on both mRNA and protein levels, however the increase was lower in brain stem than in other regions. Heroin affects all regions of human brain, and especially brain stem. Its intoxication leads to an increase of organic rather then inorganic peroxides in various brain regions. Glutathione S-transferase plays an important role during heroin intoxication, however its protective effect is lower in brain stem than in brain cortex or hippocampus. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Drug Alcohol Depend
and referenced in Metabolomics:Open Access