Transgenic mice with elevated level of CuZnSOD are highly susceptible to malaria infection

Jacob Golenser, Mira Peled-Kamar, Eli Schwartz, Ilanit Friedman, Yoram Groner, Yaakov Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) catalyses the conversion of O2·- into H2O2. Constitutive overexpression of CuZnSOD in cells and animals creates an indigenous oxidative stress that predisposes them to added insults. In this study, we used transgenic CuZnSOD (Tg-CuZnSOD) mice with elevated levels of CuZnSOD to determine whether overexpression of CuZnSOD affected the susceptibility of these mice to plasmodium infection Acute malaria is associated with oxidative stress, mediated by redox-active iron released from the infected RBC. Two independently derived Tg-CuZnSOD lines showed higher sensitivity than control mice to infection by Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei), reflected by an earlier onset and increased rate of mortality. Nevertheless, while Tg-CuZnSOD mice were more vulnerable than control mice, the levels of parasitemia were comparable in both strains. Moreover, treatment of infected red blood cells (RBC) with oxidative stress inducers, such as ascorbate or paraquat, reduced the viability of parasites equally in both transgenic and control RBC. This further confirms that increased CuZnSOD does not support plasmodia development. The data are consistent with the possibility that the combination of increased redox- active iron and elevated H2O2 in the plasmodium-infected Tg-CuZnSOD mice, led to an enhanced Fenton's reaction-mediated HO· production, and the resulting oxidative injury renders the transgenic mice more vulnerable to parasite infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1504-1510
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1998


  • Fenton's reaction
  • Free radical
  • Malaria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Plasmodium
  • Redox-active iron
  • Transgenic-CuZnSOD mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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