Exploring the link between oxidative stress and the vasculature in a bi-ethnic population
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of hypertension, arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis. Optimal functioning of the enzymatic antioxidant system is central to prevent increased oxidative stress and its consequences. We aimed to investigate the relationships of ambulatory blood pressure and carotid intima-media thickness with enzyme activities of the glutathione cycle in 396 young, black and white South Africans of the African-PREDICT study. Ambulatory blood pressure and carotid intima-media thickness were measured and glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities were analyzed. Black participants had higher reactive oxygen species (men: p=0.019; women: borderline p=0.064) and total glutathione (both p<0.001), but lower glutathione peroxidase activity and total antioxidant status (all p<0.001). In black men, ambulatory pulse pressure was negatively associated with glutathione peroxidase activity (R²=0.19; ß=-0.25; p=0.026). Black and white women displayed positive associations of ambulatory systolic blood pressure (black: R²=0.25; ß=0.21; p=0.048; white: R²=0.44; =0.18; p=0.016) with glutathione reductase activity, while white men displayed a positive association of ambulatory pulse pressure with glutathione reductase activity (R²=0.25; ß=0.29; p=0.012). The lower glutathione peroxidase activity and total antioxidant status, the higher reactive oxygen species, as well as the negative association between ambulatory pulse pressure and glutathione peroxidase activity in the black men suggest that oxidative stress may be associated with early vascular changes in this group. In the other three groups, the positive associations of blood pressure with glutathione reductase activity suggest a possible role for adequate glutathione reductase activity in preventing or delaying the development of hypertension.
- Health Sciences