Free radical activity, antioxidant enzyme, and glutathione changes with muscle stretch injury in rabbits

Thomas M. Best, Russel Fiebig, David T. Corr, Stacey Brickson, Ji Lili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The present study investigated changes in rate of free radical production, antioxidant enzyme activity, and glutathione status immediately after and 24 h after acute muscle stretch injury in 18 male New Zealand White rabbits. There was no change in free radical production in injured muscles, compared with noninjured controls, immediately after injury (time O; P = 0.782). However, at 24 h postinjury, there was a 25% increase in free radical production in the injured muscles. Overall, there was an interaction (time and treatment) effect (P = 0.005) for free radical production. Antioxidant enzyme activity demonstrated a treatment (injured vs. control) and interaction effect for both glutathione peroxidase (P = 0.015) and glutathione reductase (P = 0.041). There was no evidence of lipid peroxidation damage, as measured by muscle malondialdehyde content. An interaction effect occurred for both reduced glutathione (P = 0.008) and total glutathione (P = 0.015). Morphological analysis (hematoxylin and eosin staining) showed significant polymorphonuclear cell infiltration of the damaged region at 24 h postinjury. We conclude that acute mechanical muscle stretch injury results in increased free radical production within 24 h after injury. Antioxidant enzyme and glutathione systems also appear to be affected during this early postinjury period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Free radicals
  • Muscle stretch injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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