Oxidative stress and their resultant products as the target molecules in clinical diagnosis of age related disease

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
2
Volume :2
Issue :2
March, 2008
Page No: 
19-30
Authors: 
B.Vijayalakshmi and M.Chandrasekhar*
Address: 
Department of Physiology, Meenakshi Medical College and Research Institute Enathur, Kancheepuram and Meenakshi University, Chennai – 600 078, Tamil Nadu, India

Oxidative stress occurs when the generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in a system exceeds the system’s ability toneutralize and eliminate them. The imbalance can result from a lack of antioxidant capacity causedby disturbance in production, distribution, or by an overabundance of ROS from an environmentalor behavioral stress. If not regulated properly, the excess ROS damages polyunsaturated fatty acidsfound in the cellular membranes, nucleotides in the DNA, and sulfhydril bonds in proteins. Nearlyevery organ system can be found to have an Oxidative stress. It has been noted that certain organ systems are predisposed to greater levels of oxidative stress. Those organ systems most susceptible to damage are the pulmonary system (exposed to high levels of oxygen), the brain (exhibits intense metabolic activity yet has lower levels of endogenous antioxidants), the eye(constantly exposed to damaging UV light), circulatory system (victim to fluctuating oxygen and nitric oxide levels) and reproductive systems (at risk from the intense metabolic activity ofsperm cells). Oxidative damage causes a net stress on the normal body functions and may result in many specific diseases. It also appears to contribute to the general decline in the optimum body functions that is commonly believed to occur as a result of “aging process”. So, there is a need to continuously monitor the level of oxidants and antioxidants in the body toovercome the oxidative stress. This paper reviews on oxidative stress, counter action of antioxidants,and methods to monitor the oxidants and antioxidants.

Keywords: 
Free Radical, Oxidative Stress, Reactive Oxygen Species, Antioxidants, detection of free radicals.
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