One of the reasons of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) development is widely recognized the relation of free radical reactions in tissue injuries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the location where in vivo free radical reactions was enhanced in adjuvant arthritis (AA) model rats using in vivo electron spin resonance (ESR)/nitroxyl spin probe technique. The signal decay after intravenous injection of spin probe was enhanced in AA than that in control and suppressed by the pre-treatment of dexamethasone (DXT). Interestingly, the decay in joint cavity occurred prior to paw swelling of AA and suppressed by a simultaneous injection of free radical scavengers, indicating that the enhancement of free radical reactions in joint cavity of AA rats. This technique would be useful tool to determine the location of the enhanced free radical reactions and evaluate the activity of antioxidant medicine with non-invasive real-time measurement.
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