Hypocatalasemia, also called acatalasia, is a rare autosomal recessive disorder resulting from the absence of catalase enzyme activity. The enzyme catalase is involved in the protection against hydrogen peroxide. Enzyme catalase seems to be the main regulator of hydrogen peroxide metabolism. Hydrogen peroxide at high concentrations is a toxic agent, while at low concentrations it appears to regulate some physiological processes such as signaling in cell growth, cell death, carbohydrate metabolism, and platelet activation. A significant reduction of activity of catalase has been observed in dogs with localized and generalized demodicosis and antioxidant supplementation may be beneficial in management of canine demodicosis.

Source: Parasit Vectors. 2015; 8: 187. 2015 Mar 28. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-0775-8

All aerobic organisms use molecular oxygen for respiration or oxidation of nutrients to obtain energy efficiently. During the transformation of molecular oxygen to water, reactive oxygen species such as the superoxide radical, hydrogen peroxide and the hydroxyl radicals are generated. While only a weak oxidant, hydrogen peroxide has high potential to produce damage due to its ability to penetrate and spread freely across cell membranes. Hydrogen peroxide in the form of carbamide peroxide is widely used in professionally and self-administered products for tooth whitening. It is a highly reactive substance that can damage oral soft and hard tissues when present in high concentrations and with exposures of prolonged duration with possible cancer-causing side effects. All of the above species are capable of damaging DNA, protein and lipid membranes, and are known to be causative factors in degenerative diseases such as cancer. For defence against reactive oxygen species, cells contain antioxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and several peroxidases, as well as antioxidants such as ascorbate, tocopherol and glutathione. For example, extracellular superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that protects the heart from damage to heart muscle, disruption of heart rhythms, 5 and lung disease from inflammation and fibrosis. 4 Red blood cells contain large amounts of catalase and are believed to act as a sink for hydrogen peroxide and superoxide removal.

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Mutations Of Catalase Linked To Degenerative Diseases

Catalase gene mutations have been detected in association with Mutations Of Catalase Linked To Degenerative Diseasesdiabetes mellitus, hypertension, and vitiligo. Decreases in catalase activity in patients with tumors is more likely to be due to decreased enzyme synthesis rather than to catalase mutations. Both human and animals with inherited catalase deficiency are more sensitive to oxidative stress of hydrogen peroxide than the normocatalasemic family members. Acatalasemia, the inherited deficiency of catalase has been detected in both humans and animals.

Although a deficiency of catalase activity is noted in many tissues of the body, including the red blood cells, bone marrow, liver, and skin, only about half of the affected individuals have symptoms, which consist of recurrent infections causing painful sores on gums, tooth loss, oral gangrene, altered lipid, carbohydrate, homocysteine metabolism and the increased risk of diabetes mellitus and arteriosclerosis.


  1. Vet Parasitol. 2008 Mar 18. Changes in oxidative stress indices, zinc and copper concentrations in blood in canine demodicosis.Dimri U, Ranjan R, Kumar N, Sharma MC, Swarup D, Sharma B, Kataria M.
  2. Effects of topical Catalase application on dental pulp tissue: a histopathological evaluation . Journal of Dentistry, Volume 28, Issue 5, A. Alacam.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide tooth-whitening (bleaching): Review of safety in relation to possible carcinogenesis. Oral Oncology, Volume 42, Issue 7, Z. Naik, C. Tredwin, C. Scully
  4. Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase Regulates Cardiac Function and Fibrosis
  5. Principles and Methods of Toxicology. Edited by A. Wallace Hayes



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