Biobehavioral and neuroendocrine correlates of antioxidant enzyme activity in ovarian carcinoma

Jennifer L. Bayer, Douglas R. Spitz, Desire Christensen, Michael L. McCormick, Donna Farley, Koen DeGeest, Laila Damoush, Samantha Aust, Anil K. Sood, Susan K. Lutgendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide have been reported in many cancer cells and they have been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Antioxidant enzymes, such as Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (MnSOD or SOD2) and Glutathione Peroxidase-1 (GPx1), act coordinately to neutralize ROS. These enzymes are also thought to contribute to cancer cell resistance to conventional radio-chemo-therapies. Although some relationships have been reported between psychosocial factors and the regulation of antioxidant enzymes, little is known about these relationships in the context of cancer progression. The current study investigated the levels of MnSOD and GPx1in confirmed serous, high-grade tumor tissue from 60 ovarian cancer patients, and explored the relationship between the activity of these enzymes, the levels of tumor norepinephrine (NE), and patient mood as determined via pre-operative questionnaires. MnSOD activity was positively related to depressed mood (p = 0.025) and tumor NE (p = 0.023). In contrast, GPx1 activity was inversely related to fatigue (p = 0.015) and tumor NE (p = 0.009), and was positively associated with vigor (p = 0.024). These findings suggest that psychological state and adrenergic signaling are linked with antioxidant enzyme activity in ovarian cancer and may have implications for patient treatments and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Antioxidant enzymes
  • Biobehavioral
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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