Spontaneous mammary tumors are very common in bitches. The involvement of oxidative stress and the function of antioxidant enzymes in cancerogenesis have been studied in depth in human medicine, while data in veterinary medicine are still fragmentary. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the activity and the expression of superoxide dismutases (Cu-ZnSOD and MnSOD) and the activity of catalase (CAT) in canine mammary tumors in comparison with the adjacent healthy tissue. Six female dogs (mean age 10.4 years) were included in this study. After surgery, fresh tumor and healthy tissue samples were immediately frozen in dry ice and stored at −80°C for biochemical analyses, while the remaining parts were used for histopathological analysis. Enzyme activity was measured by spectrophotometric assays and protein expression by western blotting. In canine mammary tumors, Cu-ZnSOD activity and expression increased significantly compared with healthy control tissues (p=0.03). MnSOD showed a significantly lower activity in tumoral tissues at stage 2 (p<0.05), while a significant increase of expression was measured in tumors. CAT activity was significantly higher in healthy tissues respect to tumors (p=0.015). These variations of antioxidant enzymes activities and expression could be related to an increase of oxidative stress in breast cancer tissues and could be considered as biomarker candidates for neoplastic transformation.
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