Increased lipid peroxidation as a mechanism of methionine-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits

Michal Toborek, Ewa Kopieczna-Grzebieniak, Marian Drózdz, Marian Wieczorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Methionine is converted by the transmethylation/transsulfuration pathway to homocysteine which may exert atherogenic effects by several mechanisms, including lipid peroxidation. Therefore, the excessive dietary methionine may induce the development of atherosclerosis. To test this hypothesis, plasma and aortic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), as well as activities of aortic and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPX) were measured in rabbits fed a diet enriched with 0.3% methionine for 6 or 9 months. Histological examinations of aortas also were performed. Feeding rabbits a methionine-enriched diet for 6 or 9 months resulted in significant increases in plasma and aortic TBARS levels and aortic antioxidant enzyme activities. However, a decrease in plasma antioxidant activity (AOA) was observed. In erythrocytes, SOD activity increased, catalase remained normal and GPX decreased in the treated animals. Histological examination of aortas showed typical atherosclerotic changes, such as intimal thickening, deposition of cholesterol, and calcification in methionine-fed rabbits. These results confirm that high-methionine diet may induce atherosclerosis in rabbits and indicate disturbances in lipid peroxidation and antioxidant processes as possible mechanisms of its atherogenic influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidative enzymes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Methionine
  • Oxidative stress
  • Rabbits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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