This study was designed to test the effect of antioxidant supplementation on feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected felines. Six acutely FIV-infected cats (> or =16 weeks post-inoculation) were given a propriety oral superoxide dismutase (SOD) supplement (Oxstrin; Nutramax Laboratories) for 30 days. Following supplementation, the erythrocyte SOD enzyme concentration was significantly greater in the supplemented FIV-infected group than the uninfected control group or the unsupplemented FIV-infected group. The CD4+ to CD8+ ratio increased significantly (0.66-0.88) in the SOD supplemented FIV-infected cats but not in the unsupplemented FIV-infected cats. Proviral load and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in leukocyte cell types did not change significantly following supplementation. Antioxidant supplementation resulted in an increase in SOD levels, confirming the oral bioavailability of the compound in FIV-infected cats.
This result warrants further investigation with trials of antioxidant therapy in FIV-infected cats that are showing clinical manifestations of their disease, as well as in other feline patients where oxidative stress likely contributes to disease pathogenesis, such as diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure.