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Erythrocyte glutathione S transferase as a marker of oxidative stress at birth


AIMS To determine the level of oxidative stress and cell damage as a result of exposure to O2 at birth.

METHODS Using glutathione S transferase (GST) as an indicator of oxidative stress, GST activity in cord blood was compared with that in samples taken three hours after birth. Twenty four prematurely born infants and eight full term infants were studied. To test whether stronger effects occur under less favourable conditions, the neonates were divided in three groups: healthy premature; sick premature; and healthy full term infants.

RESULTS GST activity three hours after birth was significantly decreased compared with that at birth in all three groups tested. There were no significant differences in the magnitude of this effect among the three groups.

CONCLUSIONS These results indicate that a sudden increase in oxygenation exposes the neonate to oxidative stress. Measurement of GST activity might be useful for the evaluation of protective treatment in trials considering antioxidant strategies.

  • glutathione S transferase
  • oxidative stress
  • birth
  • prematurity

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