The effects of ozone autohaemotherapy on antioxidant status and DNA integrity in baboons
Van Helden, Gerda
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Ozone therapy forms part of a group of complementary and alternative medical treatments that are often preferred above conventional medical treatments and surgery. Although it seems as if O3-therapy can be used to treat various medical conditions, there is some concern regarding the toxicity and effectiveness of O3- therapy. The strong oxidative nature of O3 gives it the ability to cause severe damage to lung tissue when it is inhaled and it may also cause oxidative DNA damage in cells when it is used in therapy. On the other hand, it is believed that O3 may exert a stimulatory effect on the antioxidant defence and immune systems. Therefore, controlled clinical studies are necessary to assess the safety and effectiveness of O3-therapy. We assessed the effect of O3 autohaemotherapy (AHT) with relatively high O3 concentrations on the oxidant/antioxidant status in baboons by evaluating serum hydroperoxides, glutathione redox status, antioxidant capacity and antioxidant enzyme activity. We also assessed the genotoxicity of O3 by measuring DNA damage and DNA repair capacity in lymphocytes using the Comet assay. O3-AHT was performed on the baboons by using 5% of their total blood volume. Blood samples were taken before reinfusion and again 0.5-48 hours following reinfusion of the ozonated blood. O3-AHT caused an increase in the level of oxidative stress in baboons, but did not deplete cellular antioxidants such as GSH. Although catalase activity was not altered by O3-AHT, SOD activity was slightly increased. Serum antioxidant capacity was elevated after O3-AHT, however, we are not sure to what extent the ketamine hydrochloride that was used as anaesthetic influenced the results. DNA damage was induced 24 hours after O3-AHT was performed but this was not significant and the effect was eliminated after 48 hours. DNA repair was up-regulated within four hours following O3-AHT but returned to control levels after 24 hours. In general, it appears as if O3-AHT may have a beneficial, though transient, effect without causing cellular damage.