Postmortem Stability of Enzymes Detoxifying Peroxide In Brain

Timothy S. Brannan, Howard S. Maker, Mitchell Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and catalase activities were measured to 48 h after death in mouse brains held at temperatures replicating the cooling occurring in human cadaver brain. Glutathione peroxidase was stable for 48 h; catalase was stable for 24 h and then declined 20% in activity. Glutathione reductase was stable for 4 h and then decreased to 55% of its initial activity by 48 h. Perfusion of mouse brain with 0.9% (wt/vol) NaCl did not decrease enzyme activities, indicating that erythrocyte contamination has little effect on measured brain activities. The results suggest that glutathione peroxidase would not be affected by moderate time delays in obtaining human postmortem brains but catalase activity may be affected if brains are not promptly removed. Glutathione reductase is not stable and measurements would require controls carefully matched for postmortem conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-591
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1982


  • Catalase
  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Glutathione reductase
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Postmortem enzymes


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