Little is known about the antioxidant capacity and oxidant-generating potential of newborn muscle, or how these properties compare with the adult and relate to fatigue resistance. We determined the 1) antioxidant enzyme activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase], 2) glutathione content, 3) oxidative capacity [indexed by succinic dehydrogenase activity], 4) extracellular cytochrome c reduction, and 5) efficacy of exogenously administered SOD in ameliorating fatigue in vitro of newborn and adult diaphragm (DIA). Newborn and adult DIA SOD activities were not different, whereas newborn catalase activity was greater, and newborn glutathione peroxidase activity and glutathione content less than adult DIA. Succinic dehydrogenase activity was ~2-fold greater in the adult compared with the neonate. Repetitive contractions led to a significant decline in newborn and adult DIA force; this decline was greater in the adult (78 ± 4% decrement in force at 2 min) compared with newborn DIA (28 ± 8% decrement in force at 2 min). Extracellular cytochrome c reduction was greater in adult as compared with newborn DIA during fatiguing contractions. Exogenous SOD attenuated fatigue in the adult, but had no effect on newborn DIA. We conclude that the oxidative capacity of the adult DIA is greater than that of the newborn and not matched by a concomitant increase in SOD activity. Our data suggest that the increased oxidative capacity relative to SOD activity in adult DIA may lead to oxidative stress and an enhanced susceptibility to fatigue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health