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Interest in the toxicological aspects of oxidative stress has grown in recent years, and research has become increasingly focused on the mechanistic aspects of oxidative damage and cellular responses in biological systems. Toxic consequences of oxidative stress at the subcellular level include lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage to DNA and proteins. These effects are often used as end points in the study of oxidative stress. Typically, mammalian species have been used as models to study oxidative stress and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying cellular damage and response, largely because of the interest in human health issues surrounding oxidative stress. However, it is becoming apparent that oxidative stress also affects aquatic organisms exposed to environmental pollutants. Research in fish has demonstrated that mammalian and piscine systems exhibit similar toxicological and adaptive responses to oxidative stress. This suggests that piscine models, in addition to traditional mammalian models, may be useful for further understanding the mechanisms underlying the oxidative stress response.