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Biomarkers for Oxidative Stress: Clinical Application in Pediatric Medicine

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Loads of reactive oxygen species (ROS), including superoxide anion and nitric oxide, that overburden antioxidant systems induce oxidative stress in the body. Major cellular targets of ROS are membrane lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates. Circumstantial evidence suggests that ROS play a crucial role in the initiation and progression of various diseases in children and adolescents. The involvement of ROS and oxidative stress in pediatric diseases is an important concern, but oxidative stress status in young subjects and appropriate methods for its measurement remain to be defined. Recently, specific biomarkers for oxidative damage and antioxidant defense have been introduced into the field of pediatric medicine. This review is intended to provide an overview of clinical applications of oxidative stress biomarkers in the field of pediatric medicine. First, this review presents the biochemistry and pathophysiology of ROS and antioxidant defense systems. Second, it presents a list of clinically applicable biomarkers, along with pediatric diseases in which enhanced oxidative stress might be involved. The discussion emphasizes that several reliable biomarkers are easily measurable using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Third, this review presents agerelated reference normal ranges of oxidative stress biomarkers, including urinary acrolein-lysine, 8-hydroxy- 2'-deoxyguanosine, nitrite/nitrate, and pentosidine, and the changes of the parameters in several clinical conditions, including atopic dermatitis and diabetes mellitus. New and interesting data on oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses in neonatal biology are also presented. Fourth, this review discusses the everaccumulating body of data linking oxidative stress to disturbances of the nitric oxide system and vascular endothelial activation/dysfunction. Finally, this review describes the reported clinical trials that have evaluated the efficacy of antioxidants for oxidative-stress related diseases. Suggestions are advanced for the direction of future trials using antioxidant therapies. Repeated measurement of appropriate parameters will enable us to discern the pathophysiological patterns of pediatric diseases and guide our therapies appropriately.

Keywords: Antioxidants; biomarkers; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; nitric oxide; oxidative stress; pediatric medicine; reactive oxygen species; urine samples

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-1193, Japan.

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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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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