Research: BENO and colleagues, I

Listed in Issue 37


BENO and colleagues, Institut de Recherche de Nutrition, Bratislava, Slovaquie write that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are regarded as mediators of inflammation in ulcerative colitis and that antioxidant enzymes are a primary defence against these species. The authors studied the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in patients with ulcerative colitis.



Biopsy specimens were obtained from 29 patients with ulcerative colitis and from 18 healthy controls. 10 patients on maintenance drug therapy were also given 300 mg daily oral dose of vitamin E .


Activities of antioxidant enzymes were significantly increased in inflamed non-polypous colonic mucosa in patients with active ulcerative colitis, whereas activities were similar to those in controls during quiescent phases of the disease. The activities of antioxidant enzymes from inflammatory polyps remained high even in patients in clinical remission. Vitamin E administration resulted in a significant reduction of glutathione peroxidase activity in the colonic mucosa .


The findings of this study indirectly confirm that important quantities of reactive oxygen species are formed in ulcerative colitis . Further research is required in order to elucidate how these changes relate to the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis.


Beno I et al. Ulcerative colitis: activity of antioxidant enzymes of the colonic mucosa. Press Med 26(31): 1474-7. 18 Oct 1997.

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