We compared ascorbic acid (AA) levels in the blood and TPA- and fMLP-stimulated superoxide (O(2)(•-)) production in neutrophils of pre-, early, and late hypertensive stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) with those of age-matched Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY), or two other normotensive strains of rats. Plasma and lymphocyte AA levels were about two-fold higher in SHRSP as early as 4 weeks old compared to WKY, and also higher than those of Wistar and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Levels of AA were high in the liver and adrenal glands of SHRSP, indicating congenitally high AA levels. The production of O(2)(•-) in neutrophils was about two-fold higher in SHRSP than in WKY even at 4 weeks of age, and increased with age in both strains. Among SHRSP, AA levels in lymphocytes decreased at the late hypertensive stages with a decrease in hepatic l-gulono-γ-lactone oxidase (GLO) activities. These data suggest that bi-phasic AA levels in the blood of SHRSP comprise congenitally high levels and a decrease after persistent hypertension due to enhanced O(2)(•-) production and a decrease in de novo AA synthesis through GLO.


Yoko Sato, Masahiko Ikeda, Tomohiro Ito, Takako Tomita, Kaori Yokotani, Masatsune Murata, Keizo Umegaki


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