A superoxide dismutase derivative (SM-SOD) that circulates and is bound to albumin with a half-life of 6 h was injected intraperitoneally into rats before exhaustive treadmill running to study its antioxidant scavenging capacity in the plasma and soleus and tibialis muscles. The exercise induced a marked increase in xanthine oxidase activity in plasma and an increase in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances in the plasma as well as in the soleus and tibialis muscles of nonadministered rats immediately after the exercise. The immunoreactive content and activity of both SOD isoenzymes (Cu,Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD) of the nonadministered rats increased in the soleus and tibialis muscles immediately after running. SM-SOD treatment definitely attenuated the degree of the increase in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and xanthine oxidase in all samples examined immediately after exercise. Glutathione peroxidase activity significantly increased in the soleus muscle of nonadministered rats 1 day after running, whereas catalase activity remained unchanged throughout the experimental period. These results suggest that a single bout of exhaustive exercise induces oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of rats and that this oxidative stress can be attenuated by exogenous SM-SOD.
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