It has been shown that emotional stress may induce oxidative damage, and considerably change the balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant factors in the brain. The aim of this study was to verify the effect of repeated restraint stress (RRS; 1 h/day during 40 days) on several parameters of oxidative stress in the hippocampus of adult Wistar rats. We evaluated the lipid peroxide levels (assessed by TBARS levels), the production of free radicals (evaluated by the DCF test), the total radical-trapping potential (TRAP) and the total antioxidant reactivity (TAR) levels, and antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, GPx and CAT) in hippocampus of rats. The results showed that RRS induced an increase in TBARS levels and in GPx activity, while TAR was reduced. We concluded that RRS induces oxidative stress in the rat hippocampus, and that these alterations may contribute to the deleterious effects observed after prolonged stress.
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