To investigate whether the two free-radical scavengers, Cu, Zn- and Mn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), are changed in leukocytes of diabetic patients, and the alteration of these enzymes correlates with the diabetic state, we measured the activity and concentration of these enzymes in leukocytes from diabetic patients. Both Cu, Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD activities in neutrophils and lymphocytes were significantly lower in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus than in healthy controls. The concentrations of these enzymes in leukocytes from diabetic patients, however, did not differ from those in controls. Cu, Zn-SOD and Mn-SOD activities in neutrophils inversely correlated with HbA(1c) concentrations. Myeloperoxidase activity in leukocytes was significantly reduced in NIDDM patients. These findings suggest that changes in these enzymes may affect the susceptibility to infection and immunocompetence of patients with diabetes. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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