Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities have been determined in red blood cells isolated from patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, lymphosarcoma, and various visceral cancers.
In all investigated cases, both catalase and glutathione peroxidase were found to be in normal ranges of activity. In the group of patients with visceral cancers, SOD activity was found to be normal as well. In contrast, SOD activity was found to be significantly increased in red blood cells from patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and lymphoproliferative syndromes. This increase in superoxide level was not related to either reticulocytosis or hypochromic anemia. No relationship was found between the SOD level and the stage, the extension of the disease, or the presence of an inflammatory syndrome. The highest SOD levels were observed in untreated patients or during the early time period of the treatment. SOD levels further decrease as a function of the increase in the duration of the treatment. These results suggest an abnormality in the regulation of the expression of the SOD gene in the pluripotent stem cells.
This research was supported by Grant CRL 79.5.010.2 from Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale.