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Effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants in a mouse model of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author

Singh A, Naidu PS, Gupta S, Kulkarni SK.

Date

12/2002

Journal

J Med Food

Abstract

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by persistent and relapsing fatigue, often accompanied by numerous symptoms involving various body systems. The etiology of CFS remains unclear; however, a number of studies have shown that oxidative stress may be involved in its pathogenesis. In the present study, a mouse model of CFS was used in which mice were forced to swim for one 6-minute session on each day for 15 days and the immobility period was recorded. There was a significant increase in immobility period in saline-treated mice on successive days. Intraperitoneal treatment with the potent antioxidants carvedilol (5 mg/kg) and melatonin (5 mg/kg) produced a significant reduction in immobility period. Similar results were observed with herbal preparations administered orally: Withania somnifera (100 mg/kg), quercetin (50 mg/kg), and St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L., 10 mg/kg). Biochemical analysis revealed that chronic swimming significantly induced lipid peroxidation and decreased glutathione (GSH) levels in the brains of mice. The rats also showed decreased levels of antioxidant defense enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase. Co-administration of antioxidants carvedilol, melatonin, W. somnifera, quercetin or St. John's wort significantly reduced lipid peroxidation and restored the GSH levels decreased by chronic swimming in mice. Further, the treatment increased levels of SOD in the forebrain and of catalase. The findings strongly suggest that oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathophysiology of CFS and that antioxidants could be useful in the treatment of CFS.

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