Effects of the xanthine oxidase system on cardiac function in anaesthetised rats

Sarra K. Laycock, John McMurray, Kathleen A. Kane, James R. Parratt

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation aimed to determine whether contractile dysfunction of the myocardium could be produced upon generation of free radicals in the anaesthetised rat. The enzyme xanthine oxidase, combined with its substrate purine and an iron source, was used to generate free radicals in the venous circulation. The suspended form of xanthine oxidase, with substrate, produced a transient, significant depression in the contractile indices dP dt-1 max and dP dt-1 P-1 and arterial blood pressure, 1146 ± 87 mm Hg s-1, 9 ± 1 s-1, and 18 ± 1 mm Hg, respectively. This could not be attenuated by the enzymatic free radical scavengers superoxide dismutase and catalase. Furthermore, the suspended xanthine oxidase alone or its vehicle were able to produce a similar effect to that of the complete free-radical-generating system. The maximum soluble dose of the crystalline form of the enzyme when employed in the generating system had no effect upon administration despite its production of superoxide radicals in vitro. These results suggest that the haemodynamic effects of the free-radical-generating system containing the suspended form of xanthine oxidase were due to the effects of its vehicle and that the free-radical-generating system containing the crystalline form of the enzyme did not produce sufficient free radicals in vivo to modify myocardial contractility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1993



  • Anaesthetised rats
  • Free radicals
  • Myocardial function
  • Purine
  • Xanthine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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