Background: Oxygen free radicals have been linked to the process of cardiovascular disease and aging. Epidemiological studies supported the beneficial effect of supplementation of antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a endogenous enzyme system which can scavenge oxygen free radicals. This study investigated the effect of supplementation of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on the changes of SOD. Methods: Rat aortic smooth muscle cells (A7r5) were divided into 4 groups: a control group (without vitamin C) and treatment groups with vitamin C at 50 μM, 100 μM and 200 μM. After a short-term (2 days) or long-term (7 days) incubation, the enzyme activity and mRNA level of SOD were measured. Results: After 7 days incubation, vitamin C resulted in a decrease in the activity and mRNA level of Mn-SOD (mitochondrial enzyme) in a concentration-dependent manner. However, vitamin C supplementation did not change the gene expression and activity of Cu,Zn-SOD (cytosolic enzyme) either after short-term or long-term incubation. Conclusion: The results obtained suggest that 7 days incubation with relative high concentrations of vitamin C may down-regulate the gene expression and activity of antioxidant enzyme Mn-SOD in cultured smooth muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalActa Cardiologica Sinica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Oxygen free radicals
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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