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Potential Therapeutic Effect of Antioxidant Therapy in Shock and Inflammation

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Oxidative stress results from an oxidant / antioxidant imbalance, an excess of oxidants and / or a depletion of antioxidants. A considerable body of recent evidence suggests that oxidant stress plays a major role in several aspects of acute and chronic inflammation and is the subject of this review. Immunohistochemical and biochemical evidence demonstrate the significant role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in acute and chronic inflammation. Initiation of lipid peroxidation, direct inhibition of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, inactivation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, inhibition of membrane Na+ / K+ ATP-ase activity, inactivation of membrane sodium channels, and other oxidative protein modifications contribute to the cytotoxic effect of ROS. All these toxicities are likely to play a role in the pathophysiology of shock, inflammation and ischemia and reperfusion. (2) Treatment with either peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts, which selectively inhibit peroxynitrite, or with SODm's, which selectively mimic the catalytic activity of the human superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes, have been shown to prevent in vivo the delayed tissue injury and the cellular energetic failure associated with inflammation. ROS (e.g., superoxide, peroxynitrite, hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide) are all potential reactants capable of initiating DNA single strand breakage, with subsequent activation of the nuclear enzyme poly (ADP ribose) synthetase (PARS), leading to eventual severe energy depletion of the cells, and necrotic-type cell death. Antioxidant treatment inhibits the activation of PARS, and prevents the organ injury associated with acute and chronic inflammation.
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Keywords: Inflammation; antioxidant therapy; inflammation; oxidant/antioxidant; reactive oxygen species; shock

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Messina, via C. Valeria, Torre Biologica, Policlinico Universitario, 98123 Messina, Italy.

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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