Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Aguay, Diane
item Anderson, Richard
item Sandre, Caroline
item Bryden, Noella - Noel
item Alonso, Anne
item Chancerelle, Yve
item Roussel, Anne

Submitted to: Burns
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2005
Publication Date: 5/31/2005
Citation: Aguay, D., Anderson, R.A., Sandre, C., Bryden, N.A., Alonso, A., Yve, C., Roussel, A.M., Chancerelle, Y. 2005. Alterations of antioxidant trace elements (Zn, Se, Cu) and related metallo-enzymes in plasma and tissues following burn injury in rats. Burns. 31(3): 366-371.

Interpretive Summary: Antioxidants play a key role in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. An efficient antioxidant network is essential in the prevention of these diseases and also in combating stress. People who have better antioxidant defenses are better able to respond to stress and also to recover from it. We used an experimental rat model to further determine the role of trace elements that function as antioxidants such as zinc, selenium and copper, in response to the stress of burn injury. This work is important to determine the nutritional intervention that may be important to combat burn injury and other stresses. There was a mobilization of these trace elements to lessen stresses associated with injury. These results suggest that improved zinc, selenium and copper nutrition, leading to improved antioxidant function, may help in combating burn injury and other stresses. This work could be important to the large portion of the population with depressed levels of antioxidants that may be related to insufficient dietary intake of zinc, selenium and copper, especially those with added stresses that may further deplete these trace elements and the related antioxidant defense network.

Technical Abstract: To improve the nutritional support for burned patients, we evaluated the alterations of Se, Zn and Cu and their possible contributions to an unbalanced antioxidant response to burn injury. These trace elements and the related antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), were studied both in plasma (or serum) and tissues of 20% total body surface area (TBSA) burned rats for ten days. While plasma Se and serum Zn levels significantly decreased six hours after burn injury, serum Cu levels increased after one day and remained elevated the following 9 days. Selenium levels increased in kidney but decreased progressively in liver. The hepatic Zn and Cu concentrations followed a biphasic increase following burn injury. During the first day, GPx activity decreased in plasma and remained unchanged in the organs, except for a moderate diminution in the liver. Liver Cu/Zn SOD activity increased from 6 hours to 4 days. In summary, following burn injury, copper and zinc were redistributed to the liver and selenium to the kidney with non-detectable changes in the muscle and brain. Changes in antioxidant enzyme activities following burn injury were significant mainly in the plasma. Early combined antioxidant supplementation to maintain and restore antioxidant status in burned patients requires further study.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page