Oxidative stress plays a key role in steatohepatitis induced by both xenobiotic agents and high fat diet (HFD). The present study aimed to evaluate hepatic oxidative stress and anti-oxidant systems response in rats exposed to HFD and/or non-toxic dose of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), the first metabolite of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Groups of 8 rats were so treated for 4 weeks: 1- standard diet (N group); 2- standard diet plus DDE (10 mg/kg b.w.) (N+DDE group); 3- HFD (D group); 4- HFD plus DDE (D+DDE group). Oxidative stress was analyzed by determining malondialdehyde as lipid peroxidation product, while the anti-oxidant systems were evaluating by measuring the levels of the principal cytosolic and mitochondrial antioxidant proteins and enzymes, namely superoxide dismutase 1 and 2 (SOD1, SOD2), glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) involved in the control of hepatic reactive oxygens species (ROS) accumulation. The results showed malondialdehyde accumulation in livers of all groups, confirming the pro-oxidant effects of both HFD and DDE, but with a greater effect of DDE in absence of HFD. In addition, we found different levels of the analyzed anti-oxidant systems in the different groups. DDE mainly induced UCP2 and SOD2, while HFD mainly induced GPx1. Noteworthy, in the condition of simultaneous exposure to DDE and HFD, the anti-oxidant response was more similar to the one induced by HFD than to the response induced by DDE. Present findings confirmed that both HFD and xenobiotic exposure induced hepatic oxidative stress and showed that the anti-oxidant defense response was not the same in the diverse groups, suggesting that UCP2 induction could be an adaptive response to limit excessive ROS damage, mainly in condition of xenobiotic exposure.
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