Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P567

Lipid peroxidation, activity of caspase 3 and apoptosis activation in low birth weight children

E Barg, K Gasiorowski, B Wikiera, A Skoczynska, B Turczyn & E Glab


Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.


Children born with low birth weight (LBW, below 2500 g) exhibit slower development with deficit of height and, in adulthood, an increased risk of developing syndrome X. One possible explanation could be an enhanced elimination of cells by apoptosis. The aim of this study was evaluate of mechanism of lipid peroxidation and activity of caspase 3 in children with low birth weight.

Subjects for study were 10 children with LBW and growth retardation (SDSHV<−1.8) and high frequency of apoptotic cells in cultures of lymphocytes and with the 50 kb domain on the DNA electrophoretic profiles, aged 4–11. Control group was 30 children with birth weight above 2700 g, aged 4–11.

Plasma total cholesterol, HDL- cholesterol, HDL2-cholesterol, HDL3-cholesterol, LDL- cholesterol, lipid peroxidase (LPO). Activity of caspase 3 was estimated in supernatant blood cells.

Results: The levels of HDL2-cholesterol, LPO and BCL2 were higher in LBW children than in the control group, so that activity of Caspase 3, the level of HDL3-cholesterol was markedly lower, whereas total HDL and LDL concentrations did not differ between LBW and the control group. In children with LBW the concentration of LPO negatively correlated with HDL3 cholesterol (r=−0.77, P<0.05). Activity of Caspase 3 positively correlated with HDL2-cholesterol concentration. (r=0.91, P<0.05). No significant correlations were found in the control group.

Conclusions: It is known that lipid peroxidation products activate apoptosis in human lymphocyte cultures through the direct stimulation of caspase 2 and caspase 3. Enhanced lipid peroxidation in blood of LBW children could be deduced from our data which showed the increase of LPO activity in those children, accompanied with the decrease of HDL3-cholesterol level.

We suggested that both enzymatic and non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation could be elevated in LBW children. These results were in accord with increased frequency of apoptosis, found in cultures of lymphocytes obtained from venous blood of LBW children.

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