Effects of Sodium Nitroprusside on Mouse Erythrocyte Catalase Activity and Malondialdehyde Status

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There is controversy about the anti- or pro-oxidative effects of the nitric oxide (NO)-donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP). Hence, the activity of the antioxidant enzyme catalase (CAT) and the status of malondialdehyde (MDA) were investigated after a 2.5 mg/kg dose of SNP had been i.p. administered to different and comparable groups of mice (n =  48). The drug was administered at two different circadian times (1 and 13 h after light onset [HALO]). There were, irrespectively of sampling time, no significant differences in the means of CAT activity and MDA status between control and SNP-treated groups, no matter the treatment time. However, CAT activity was significantly (Student’s t-test, p < 0.001) increased 1 h following SNP administration at 1 HALO, whereas the significant (p < 0.001) increase in the enzyme activity was found only 3 h after injection at 13 HALO. The drug dosing either at 1 or 13 HALO resulted in no significant differences of MDA status between control and treated groups regardless to the sampling time. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) detected a significant (F0.05(7,88)= 5.3; p < 0.0006) interaction between sampling time and treatment in mice injected at 1 HALO, suggesting the influence of treatment on sampling-time-related changes in CAT activity. However, ANOVA validated no interaction between the two factors in mice treated at 13 HALO, illustrating that the sampling-time differences in enzyme activity were greater. Furthermore, two-way ANOVA revealed no interaction in the variation of MDA status in animals treated either at 1 or 13 HALO. This study indicates that SNP significantly affected the anti-oxidant system.