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1.  Recent Advances on the Neuroprotective Potential of Antioxidants in Experimental Models of Parkinson’s Disease 
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative movement disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta region of the midbrain. Although the etiology of PD is not completely understood and is believed to be multifactorial, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are widely considered major consequences, which provide important clues to the disease mechanisms. Studies have explored the role of free radicals and oxidative stress that contributes to the cascade of events leading to dopamine cell degeneration in PD. In general, in-built protective mechanisms consisting of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in the CNS play decisive roles in preventing neuronal cell loss due to free radicals. But the ability to produce these antioxidants decreases with aging. Therefore, antioxidant therapy alone or in combination with current treatment methods may represent an attractive strategy for treating or preventing the neurodegeneration seen in PD. Here we summarize the recent discoveries of potential antioxidant compounds for modulating free radical mediated oxidative stress leading to neurotoxicity in PD.
PMCID: PMC3431881  PMID: 22949883
Parkinson’s disease; oxidative stress; free radicals; antioxidants; neuroprotection
2.  Oxidative Toxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Role of Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Therapeutic Strategies 
Journal of Toxicology  2011;2011:683728.
Besides fluorine, oxygen is the most electronegative element with the highest reduction potential in biological systems. Metabolic pathways in mammalian cells utilize oxygen as the ultimate oxidizing agent to harvest free energy. They are very efficient, but not without risk of generating various oxygen radicals. These cells have good antioxidative defense mechanisms to neutralize these radicals and prevent oxidative stress. However, increased oxidative stress results in oxidative modifications in lipid, protein, and nucleic acids, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in many neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke-related brain damage. Research has indicated mitochondria play a central role in cell suicide. An increase in oxidative stress causes mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to more production of reactive oxygen species and eventually mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. Once the mitochondria are destabilized, cells are destined to commit suicide. Therefore, antioxidative agents alone are not sufficient to protect neuronal loss in many neurodegenerative diseases. Combinatorial treatment with antioxidative agents could stabilize mitochondria and may be the most suitable strategy to prevent neuronal loss. This review discusses recent work related to oxidative toxicity in the central nervous system and strategies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3139184  PMID: 21785590
3.  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate suppresses 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridine-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells via the SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling pathway 
Parkinson’s disease is a high incidence neurodegenerative disease in elderly people, and oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis. Oxygen metabolism in the brain is high, which lacks an antioxidative protection mechanism. Recently, it has been found that polyphenols play an important role in antioxidation. (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is an important component of tea polyphenols and its biological effects, such as strong antioxidation, scavenging of free radicals and anti-apoptosis, can pass through the blood brain barrier. The SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling pathway has not been reported in PC12 cells. Therefore, research of the protective mechanism of EGCG in PC12 cells damaged by -methyl-4-phenyl-pyridine (MMP+) may provide a new insight into protect against and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
MPP+-treated highly differentiated PC12 cells were used as the in vitro cell model. An MTT assay was used to investigate cell viability after EGCG treatment, a dichlorofluorescin diacetate assay was used to measure reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, western blot analysis was used to observe PGC-1α and SIRT1 protein expression, and real-time PCR to observe PGC-1α, SOD1 and GPX1 mRNA expression.
PC12 cell viability was significantly reduced after MPP+ treatment by 11.46% compared with that of the control (P < 0.05). However, cell viability was unchanged by 10 μmol/L EGCG treatment. In co-treatments with EGCG and MPP+, cell viability was significantly increased by 12.92% (P < 0.05) and MPP+-induced ROS production was markedly decreased. PGC-1α mRNA expression was obviously upregulated by 21.51% (P < 0.05), and SOD1 and GPX1 mRNA expression was slightly increased by 12.94% and 15.63% (P > 0.05), respectively, by treatment with EGCG and then MPP+ for 12 h. The mRNA expression of PGC-1α, SOD1 and GPX1 was increased by 25.17%, 40% and 146% (all P < 0.05), respectively, by treatment with EGCG and then MPP+ for 24 h. Such effects were not observed with MPP+ treatment alone.
The SIRT1/PGC-1α pathway is one of the mechanisms of EGCG suppression of MPP+-induced injury of PC12 cells.
PMCID: PMC3404027  PMID: 22742579
Parkinson’s disease; (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate; PC12 cells; PGC-1α; SIRT1
4.  Redox Regulation of Protein Function via Cysteine S-Nitrosylation and Its Relevance to Neurodegenerative Diseases 
Debilitating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), can be attributed to neuronal cell damage in specific brain regions. An important hallmark of these diseases is increased oxidative and nitrosative stress that occurs via overproduction of highly reactive free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). These molecules are normally removed by cellular antioxidant systems. Under physiological conditions, ROS/RNS are present at low levels, mediating several neurotrophic and neuroprotective signaling pathways. In contrast, under pathological conditions, there is a pronounced increase in ROS/RNS generation, impairing normal neurological function. Nitric oxide (NO) is one such molecule that functions as a signaling agent under physiological conditions but causes nitrosative stress under pathological conditions due to its enhanced production. As first reported by our group and colleagues, the toxic effects of NO can be in part attributed to thiol S-nitrosylation, a posttranslational modification of cysteine residues on specific proteins. Here, we review several reports appearing over the past decade showing that S-nitrosylation of an increasing number of proteins compromises important cellular functions, including mitochondrial dynamics, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein folding, and signal transduction, thereby promoting synaptic damage, cell death, and neurodegeneration.
PMCID: PMC3431077  PMID: 22956959
5.  Mechanism of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegeneration 
Biological tissues require oxygen to meet their energetic demands. However, the consumption of oxygen also results in the generation of free radicals that may have damaging effects on cells. The brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of reactive oxygen species due to its high demand for oxygen, and its abundance of highly peroxidisable substrates. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance in the redox state of the cell, either by overproduction of reactive oxygen species, or by dysfunction of the antioxidant systems. Oxidative stress has been detected in a range of neurodegenerative disease, and emerging evidence from in vitro and in vivo disease models suggests that oxidative stress may play a role in disease pathogenesis. However, the promise of antioxidants as novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases has not been borne out in clinical studies. In this review, we critically assess the hypothesis that oxidative stress is a crucial player in common neurodegenerative disease and discuss the source of free radicals in such diseases. Furthermore, we examine the issues surrounding the failure to translate this hypothesis into an effective clinical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3362933  PMID: 22685618
6.  Neuroprotective molecular mechanisms of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate: a reflective outcome of its antioxidant, iron chelating and neuritogenic properties 
Genes & Nutrition  2009;4(4):283-296.
Tea, the major source of dietary flavonoids, particularly the epicatechins, signifies the second most frequently consumed beverage worldwide, which varies its status from a simple ancient cultural drink to a nutrient component, endowed possible beneficial neuro-pharmacological actions. Accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress, resulting in reactive oxygen species generation, plays a pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases, supporting the implementation of radical scavengers and metal chelating agents, such as natural tea polyphenols, for therapy. Vast epidemiology data indicate a correlation between occurrence of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and green tea consumption. In particular, recent literature strengthens the perception that diverse molecular signaling pathways, participating in the neuroprotective activity of the major green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), renders this natural compound as potential agent to reduce the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases. In the current review, we discuss the studies concerning the mechanisms of action implicated in EGCG-induced neuroprotection and discuss the vision to translate these findings into a lifestyle arena.
PMCID: PMC2775893  PMID: 19756809
(−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Neurodegenerative diseases; Radical scavenging; Iron chelation; Neuroprotection
7.  Recent Advances in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases Based on GSH Delivery Systems 
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease(AD), are a group of pathologies characterized by a progressive and specific loss of certain brain cell populations. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and apoptosis play interrelated roles in these disorders. It is well documented that free radical oxidative damage, particularly on neuronal lipids, proteins, DNA, and RNA, is extensive in PD and AD brains. Moreover, alterations of glutathione (GSH) metabolism in brain have been implicated in oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases. As a consequence, the reduced GSH levels observed in these pathologies have stimulated a number of researchers to find new potential approaches for maintaining or restoring GSH levels. Unfortunately, GSH delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) is limited due to a poor stability and low bioavailability. Medicinal-chemistry- and technology-based approaches are commonly used to improve physicochemical, biopharmaceutical, and drug delivery properties of therapeutic agents. This paper will focus primarily on these approaches used in order to replenish intracellular GSH levels, which are reduced in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we discuss the beneficial properties of these approaches and their potential implications for the future treatment of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, and more specifically from PD and AD.
PMCID: PMC3372378  PMID: 22701755
8.  NADPH oxidases: novel therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases 
Oxidative stress is a key pathologic factor in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The failure of free-radical-scavenging antioxidants in clinical trials pinpoints an urgent need to identify and to block major sources of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases. As a major superoxide-producing enzyme complex in activated phagocytes, phagocytic NADPH oxidase (PHOX) is essential for host defense. However, recent preclinical evidence has underscored a pivotal role of over-activated PHOX in chronic neuroinflammation and progressive neurodegeneration. Deficiency in PHOX subunits mitigates neuronal damage induced by diverse insults/stresses relevant to neurodegenerative diseases. More importantly, the suppression of PHOX activity correlates with less neuronal impairment in models of neurodegenerative diseases. The discovery of PHOX and non-phagocytic NADPH oxidases in astroglia and neurons further reinforces the critical role of NADPH oxidases in oxidative stress-mediated chronic neurodegeneration. Thus, proper modulation of NADPH oxidase activity might hold therapeutic potential for currently incurable neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3477578  PMID: 22503440
9.  Studies on free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors 
Clinical Interventions in Aging  2007;2(2):219-236.
The interplay between free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors is important in maintaining health, aging and age-related diseases. Free radicals induce oxidative stress, which is balanced by the body’s endogenous antioxidant systems with an input from co-factors, and by the ingestion of exogenous antioxidants. If the generation of free radicals exceeds the protective effects of antioxidants, and some co-factors, this can cause oxidative damage which accumulates during the life cycle, and has been implicated in aging, and age dependent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and other chronic conditions. The life expectancy of the world population is increasing, and it is estimated that by 2025, 29% of the world population will be aged ≥60 years, and this will lead to an increase in the number of older people acquiring age-related chronic diseases. This will place greater financial burden on health services and high social cost for individuals and society. In order to acheive healthy aging the older people should be encouraged to acquire healthy life styles which should include diets rich in antioxidants. The aim of this review is to highlight the main themes from studies on free radicals, antioxidants and co-factors, and to propose an evidence-based strategy for healthy aging.
PMCID: PMC2684512  PMID: 18044138
free radicals; antioxidants; co-factors; age-related diseases; healthy aging
10.  Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health 
Free radicals and oxidants play a dual role as both toxic and beneficial compounds, since they can be either harmful or helpful to the body. They are produced either from normal cell metabolisms in situ or from external sources (pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, medication). When an overload of free radicals cannot gradually be destroyed, their accumulation in the body generates a phenomenon called oxidative stress. This process plays a major part in the development of chronic and degenerative illness such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, aging, cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The human body has several mechanisms to counteract oxidative stress by producing antioxidants, which are either naturally produced in situ, or externally supplied through foods and/or supplements. This mini-review deals with the taxonomy, the mechanisms of formation and catabolism of the free radicals, it examines their beneficial and deleterious effects on cellular activities, it highlights the potential role of the antioxidants in preventing and repairing damages caused by oxidative stress, and it discusses the antioxidant supplementation in health maintenance.
PMCID: PMC3614697  PMID: 23675073
free radicals; antioxidants; beneficial effects; deleterious effects; oxidative stress; diseases; health
11.  Catalytic Antioxidants and Neurodegeneration 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2009;11(3):555-569.
Oxidative stress, resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction, excitotoxicity, or neuroinflammation, is implicated in numerous neurodegenerative conditions. Damage due to superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and peroxynitrite has been observed in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as in acute conditions that lead to neuronal death, such as stroke and epilepsy. Antioxidant therapies to remove these toxic compounds have been of great interest in treating these disorders. Catalytic antioxidants mimic the activities of superoxide dismutase or catalase or both, detoxifying superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, and in some cases, peroxynitrite and other toxic species as well. Several compounds have demonstrated efficacy in in vitro and in animal models of neurodegeneration, leading to optimism that catalytic antioxidants may prove to be useful therapies in human disease. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 555–569.
PMCID: PMC2933572  PMID: 18754709
12.  Oxidative Stress in Neurodegeneration 
It has been demonstrated that oxidative stress has a ubiquitous role in neurodegenerative diseases. Major source of oxidative stress due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) is related to mitochondria as an endogenous source. Although there is ample evidence from tissues of patients with neurodegenerative disorders of morphological, biochemical, and molecular abnormalities in mitochondria, it is still not very clear whether the oxidative stress itself contributes to the onset of neurodegeneration or it is part of the neurodegenerative process as secondary manifestation. This paper begins with an overview of how oxidative stress occurs, discussing various oxidants and antioxidants, and role of oxidative stress in diseases in general. It highlights the role of oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The last part of the paper describes the role of oxidative stress causing deregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) hyperactivity associated with neurodegeneration.
PMCID: PMC3177364  PMID: 21941533
13.  Melatonin in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders 
Increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been identified as common pathophysiological phenomena associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). As the age-related decline in the production of melatonin may contribute to increased levels of oxidative stress in the elderly, the role of this neuroprotective agent is attracting increasing attention. Melatonin has multiple actions as a regulator of antioxidant and prooxidant enzymes, radical scavenger and antagonist of mitochondrial radical formation. The ability of melatonin and its kynuramine metabolites to interact directly with the electron transport chain by increasing the electron flow and reducing electron leakage are unique features by which melatonin is able to increase the survival of neurons under enhanced oxidative stress. Moreover, antifibrillogenic actions have been demonstrated in vitro, also in the presence of profibrillogenic apoE4 or apoE3, and in vivo, in a transgenic mouse model. Amyloid-β toxicity is antagonized by melatonin and one of its kynuramine metabolites. Cytoskeletal disorganization and protein hyperphosphorylation, as induced in several cell-line models, have been attenuated by melatonin, effects comprising stress kinase downregulation and extending to neurotrophin expression. Various experimental models of AD, PD and HD indicate the usefulness of melatonin in antagonizing disease progression and/or mitigating some of the symptoms. Melatonin secretion has been found to be altered in AD and PD. Attempts to compensate for age- and disease-dependent melatonin deficiency have shown that administration of this compound can improve sleep efficiency in AD and PD and, to some extent, cognitive function in AD patients. Exogenous melatonin has also been reported to alleviate behavioral symptoms such as sundowning. Taken together, these findings suggest that melatonin, its analogues and kynuric metabolites may have potential value in prevention and treatment of AD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
PMCID: PMC1483829  PMID: 16674804
14.  Free radical scavenging activities of Cnidium officinale Makino and Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. methanolic extracts 
Pharmacognosy Magazine  2010;6(24):323-330.
Antioxidants from natural resources possess multifaceted and importance of the activities provides substantial scope in neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the free radical scavenging activities of Cnidium officinale and Ligusticum chuanxiong, which are closely related species.
Materials and Methods:
The scavenging activities of plant materials were evaluated using Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), superoxide radical (O2·-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl (OH·), nitric oxide radical (NO·) and metal chelation. In addition, the cell viability and nitric oxide release were assayed using Neuro-2a (N2a) cells.
The methanolic extracts of C. officinale and L. chuanxiong showed scavenging activities of free radicals with an additional antioxidant capacity. Moreover, the efficacy on the cell viability and nitric oxide release in cell culture model has been established.
Results of the present study suggests that the extracts of C. officinale and L. chuanxiong have comparatively similar free radical scavenging activities in vitro and may have important health effects.
PMCID: PMC2992148  PMID: 21120037
Antioxidant; Cnidium officinale; free radical scavenging; Ligusticum chuanxiong; Umbelliferae
15.  Antioxidant Enzyme Gene Transfer for Ischemic Diseases 
Advanced drug delivery reviews  2009;61(4):351-363.
The balance of redox is pivotal for normal function and integrity of tissues. Ischemic insults occur as results of a variety of conditions, leading to an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and an imbalanced redox status in the tissues. The oxidant stress may activate signaling mechanisms provoking more toxic events, and eventually cause tissue damage. Therefore, treatments with antioxidants, free radical scavengers and their mimetics, as well as gene transfer approaches to overexpress antioxidant genes represent potential therapeutic options to correct the redox imbalance. Among them, antioxidant gene transfer may enhance the production of antioxidant scavengers, and has been employed to experimentally prevent or treat ischemic injury in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic, intestinal, central nervous or other systems in animal models. With improvements in vector systems and delivery approaches, innovative antioxidant gene therapy has conferred better outcomes for myocardial infarction, reduced restenosis after coronary angioplasty, improved the quality and function of liver grafts, as well as outcome of intestinal and cerebral ischemic attacks. However, it is crucial to be mindful that like other therapeutic armentarium, the efficacy of antioxidant gene transfer requires extensive preclinical investigation before it can be used in patients, and that it may have unanticipated short- or long-term adverse effects. Thus, it is critical to balance between the therapeutic benefits and potential risks, to develop disease-specific antioxidant gene transfer strategies, to deliver the therapy with an optimal time window and in a safe manner. This review attempts to provide the rationale, the most effective approaches and the potential hurdles of available antioxidant gene transfer approaches for ischemic injury in various organs, as well as the possible directions of future preclinical and clinical investigations of this highly promising therapeutic modality.
PMCID: PMC2691416  PMID: 19233238
ischemia/reperfusion; ischemic injury; oxidant stress; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; gene transfer; gene therapy; liver; heart; lung; central nervous system; intestine; superoxide dismutase; catalase; glutathione peroxidase; heme oxygenase-1; xanthine oxidase; NADPH oxidase
16.  Melatonin in Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Related Disorders 
Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered one of the major causative factors in the aging process, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), septic shock, and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Increased free radical generation, enhanced mitochondrial inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase activity, enhanced NO production, decreased respiratory complex activity, impaired electron transport system, and opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore all have been suggested as factors responsible for impaired mitochondrial function. Melatonin, the major hormone of the pineal gland, also acts as an antioxidant and as a regulator of mitochondrial bioenergetic function. Both in vitro and in vivo, melatonin was effective for preventing oxidative stress/nitrosative stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction seen in experimental models of PD, AD, and HD. In addition, melatonin is known to retard aging and to inhibit the lethal effects of septic shock or I/R lesions by maintaining respiratory complex activities, electron transport chain, and ATP production in mitochondria. Melatonin is selectively taken up by mitochondrial membranes, a function not shared by other antioxidants. Melatonin has thus emerged as a major potential therapeutic tool for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as PD or AD, and for preventing the lethal effects of septic shock or I/R.
PMCID: PMC3100547  PMID: 21629741
17.  Brain Activity of Thioctic Acid Enantiomers: In Vitro and in Vivo Studies in an Animal Model of Cerebrovascular Injury 
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and antioxidant defense mechanisms, potentially leading to tissue damage. Oxidative stress has a key role in the development of cerebrovascular and/or neurodegenerative diseases. This phenomenon is mainly mediated by an enhanced superoxide production by the vascular endothelium with its consequent dysfunction. Thioctic, also known as alpha-lipoic acid (1,2-dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid), is a naturally occurring antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the fatty and watery regions of cells. Both the reduced and oxidized forms of the compound possess antioxidant ability. Thioctic acid has two optical isomers designated as (+)- and (−)-thioctic acid. Naturally occurring thioctic acid is the (+)-thioctic acid form, but the synthetic compound largely used in the market for stability reasons is a mixture of (+)- and (−)-thioctic acid. The present study was designed to compare the antioxidant activity of the two enantiomers versus the racemic form of thioctic acid on hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis in a rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cell line. Cell viability was evaluated by MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay and free oxygen radical species (ROS) production was assessed by flow cytometry. Antioxidant activity of the two enantiomers and the racemic form of thioctic acid was also evaluated in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) used as an in vivo model of increased oxidative stress. A 3-h exposure of PC12 cells to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) significantly decreased cell viability and increased levels of intracellular ROS production. Pre-treatment with racemic thioctic acid or (+)-enantiomer significantly inhibited H2O2-induced decrease in cell viability from the concentration of 50 μmol/L and 20 μmol/L, respectively. Racemic thioctic acid and (+)-salt decreased levels of intracellular ROS, which were unaffected by (−)-thioctic acid. In the brain of SHR, the occurrence of astrogliosis and neuronal damage, with a decreased expression of neurofilament 200 kDa were observed. Treatment of SHR for 30 days with (+)-thioctic acid reduced the size of astrocytes and increased the neurofilament immunoreaction. The above findings could contribute to clarify the role played by thioctic acid in central nervous system injury related to oxidative stress. The more pronounced effect of (+)-thioctic acid observed in this study may have practical therapeutic implications worthy of being investigated in further preclinical and clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC3634420  PMID: 23443159
oxidative stress; thioctic acid; brain; spontaneously hypertensive rats; PC12 cells
18.  Oxidative Stress in Ageing of Hair 
Experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that oxidative stress plays a major role in the ageing process. Reactive oxygen species are generated by a multitude of endogenous and environmental challenges. Reactive oxygen species or free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins, and DNA. The body possesses endogenous defence mechanisms, such as antioxidative enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidative molecules, protecting it from free radicals by reducing and neutralizing them. With age, the production of free radicals increases, while the endogenous defence mechanisms decrease. This imbalance leads to the progressive damage of cellular structures, presumably resulting in the ageing phenotype. Ageing of hair manifests as decrease of melanocyte function or graying, and decrease in hair production or alopecia. There is circumstantial evidence that oxidative stress may be a pivotal mechanism contributing to hair graying and hair loss. New insights into the role and prevention of oxidative stress could open new strategies for intervention and reversal of the hair graying process and age-dependent alopecia.
PMCID: PMC2929555  PMID: 20805969
Androgenetic alopecia; graying; oxidative stress; oral antioxidative supplementation therapy; senescent alopecia; topical melatonin
19.  Antioxidants in Central Nervous System Diseases: Preclinical Promise and Translational Challenges 
Oxidative damage is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke (brain ischemia/reperfusion injury). The availability of transgenic and toxin-inducible models of these conditions has facilitated the preclinical evaluation of putative antioxidant agents ranging from prototypic natural antioxidants such as vitamin E (α-tocopherol) to sophisticated synthetic free radical traps and catalytic oxidants. Literature review shows that antioxidant therapies have enjoyed general success in preclinical studies across disparate animal models, but little benefit in human intervention studies or clinical trials. Recent high-profile failures of vitamin E trials in Parkinson’s disease, and nitrone therapies in stroke, have diminished enthusiasm to pursue antioxidant neuroprotectants in the clinic. The translational disappointment of antioxidants likely arises from a combination of factors including failure to understand the drug candidate’s mechanism of action in relationship to human disease, and failure to conduct preclinical studies using concentration and time parameters relevant to the clinical setting. This review discusses the rationale for using antioxidants in the prophylaxis or mitigation of human neurodiseases, with a critical discussion regarding ways in which future preclinical studies may be adjusted to offer more predictive value in selecting agents for translation into human trials.
PMCID: PMC2669703  PMID: 18997301
Alzheimer’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; antioxidants; Huntington’s disease; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; Parkinson’s disease; tocopherols
20.  Oxidative Stress in Dog with Heart Failure: The Role of Dietary Fatty Acids and Antioxidants 
In dogs with heart failure, cell oxygenation and cellular metabolism do not work properly, leading to the production of a large amount of free radicals. In the organism, these free radicals are responsible of major cellular damages: this is oxidative stress. However, a suitable food intake plays an important role in limiting this phenomenon: on the one hand, the presence of essential fatty acids in the composition of membranes decreases sensitivity of cells to free radicals and constitutes a first protection against the oxidative stress; on the other hand, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and polyphenols are antioxidant molecules which can help cells to neutralize these free radicals.
PMCID: PMC3087355  PMID: 21547262
21.  Role of Oxidative Stress in Parkinson's Disease 
Experimental Neurobiology  2013;22(1):11-17.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder associated with a selective loss of the dopamine(DA)rgic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the degeneration of projecting nerve fibers in the striatum. Because there is currently no therapy that delays the neurodegenerative process, modification of the disease course by neuroprotective therapy is an important unmet clinical need. Toward this end, understanding cellular mechanisms that render the nigral neurons particularly vulnerable have been a subject of intensive research. Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a major role. The metabolism of DA itself contributes to oxidative stress, resulting in modification of intracellular macromolecules whose functions are important for cell survival. Mitochondrial dysfunction and the consequent increase in reactive oxygen species also trigger a sequence of events that leads to cell demise. In addition, activated microglia produce nitric oxide and superoxide during neuroinflammatory responses, and this is aggravated by the molecules released by damaged DAergic neurons such as α-synuclein, neuromelanin and matrix metalloproteinase-3. Ways to reduce oxidative stress therefore can provide a therapeutic strategy. NAD(P)H:quinone reductase (NQO1) and other antioxidant enzymes, whose gene expression are commonly under the regulation of the transcription factor Nrf2, can serve as target proteins utilized toward development of disease-modifying therapy for PD.
PMCID: PMC3620453  PMID: 23585717
Parkinson's disease; dopamine; oxidative stress; neuroinflammation; MMP-3; NQO1
22.  Redox modulation by S-nitrosylation contributes to protein misfolding, mitochondrial dynamics, and neuronal synaptic damage in neurodegenerative diseases 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2011;18(9):1478-1486.
The pathological processes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases engender synaptic and neuronal cell damage. While mild oxidative and nitrosative (nitric oxide (NO)-related) stress mediates normal neuronal signaling, excessive accumulation of these free radicals is linked to neuronal cell injury or death. In neurons, N-methyl--aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) activation and subsequent Ca2+ influx can induce the generation of NO via neuronal NO synthase. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that S-nitrosylation, representing covalent reaction of an NO group with a critical protein thiol, mediates the vast majority of NO signaling. Analogous to phosphorylation and other posttranslational modifications, S-nitrosylation can regulate the biological activity of many proteins. Here, we discuss recent studies that implicate neuropathogenic roles of S-nitrosylation in protein misfolding, mitochondrial dysfunction, synaptic injury, and eventual neuronal loss. Among a growing number of S-nitrosylated proteins that contribute to disease pathogenesis, in this review we focus on S-nitrosylated protein-disulfide isomerase (forming SNO-PDI) and dynamin-related protein 1 (forming SNO-Drp1). Furthermore, we describe drugs, such as memantine and newer derivatives of this compound that can prevent both hyperactivation of extrasynaptic NMDARs as well as downstream pathways that lead to nitrosative stress, synaptic damage, and neuronal loss.
PMCID: PMC3178424  PMID: 21597461
NMDA receptor; S-nitrosylation; misfolded protein; mitochondrial dysfunction; neurodegeneration
23.  Anti-Oxidative Effects of Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis) on Immobilization-Induced Oxidative Stress in Rat Brain 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87061.
Exposure to chronic psychological stress may be related to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals, and thus, long-term exposure to high levels of oxidative stress may cause the accumulation of oxidative damage and eventually lead to many neurodegenerative diseases. Compared with other organs, the brain appears especially susceptible to excessive oxidative stress due to its high demand for oxygen. In the case of excessive ROS production, endogenous defense mechanisms against ROS may not be sufficient to suppress ROS-associated oxidative damage. Dietary antioxidants have been shown to protect neurons against a variety of experimental neurodegenerative conditions. In particular, Rooibos tea might be a good source of antioxidants due to its larger proportion of polyphenolic compounds. An optimal animal model for stress should show the features of a stress response and should be able to mimic natural stress progression. However, most animal models of stress, such as cold-restraint, electric foot shock, and burn shock, usually involve physical abuse in addition to the psychological aspects of stress. Animals subjected to chronic restraint or immobilization are widely believed to be a convenient and reliable model to mimic psychological stress. Therefore, in the present study, we propose that immobilization-induced oxidative stress was significantly attenuated by treatment with Rooibos tea. This conclusion is demonstrated by Rooibos tea’s ability to (i) reverse the increase in stress-related metabolites (5-HIAA and FFA), (ii) prevent lipid peroxidation (LPO), (iii) restore stress-induced protein degradation (PD), (iv) regulate glutathione metabolism (GSH and GSH/GSSG ratio), and (v) modulate changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT).
PMCID: PMC3897768  PMID: 24466326
24.  Protein oxidative modifications in the aging brain: consequence for the onset of neurodegenerative disease 
Free radical research  2010;45(1):73-88.
The free radical theory of aging proposes the accumulation of altered, less active and toxic molecules of DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids caused by reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by an abnormal accumulation of oxidatively damaged macromolecules inside cells and in the extracellular space. Proteins involved in the formation of aggregates are β-amyloid, tau, α-synuclein, parkin, prion proteins and proteins containing polyglutamine. These abnormal aggregated proteins influence normal cellular metabolism. Additionally, deposition of abnormal proteins induces oxidative stress and proteasomal as well as mitochondrial dysfunction that ultimately lead to neuronal cell death.
In this review we focus on the impact of oxidative and nitrative stress in the aging brain and, consequently, on the generation of modified proteins, as these post-translational modifications are assumed to play an important role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3675897  PMID: 20815785
oxidative stress; nitrative stress; neurodegenerative diseases; protein degradation; aging
25.  ROS and RNS Signaling in Heart Disorders: Could Antioxidant Treatment Be Successful? 
There is not too much success in the antioxidant treatment of heart deceases in humans. However a new approach is now developed that suggests that depending on their structures and concentrations antioxidants can exhibit much more complicated functions in many pathological disorders. It is now well established that physiological free radicals superoxide and nitric oxide together with their derivatives hydrogen peroxide and peroxynitrite (all are named reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS)) play a more important role in heart diseases through their signaling functions. Correspondingly this work is dedicated to the consideration of damaging signaling by ROS and RNS in various heart and vascular disorders: heart failure (congestive heart failure or CHF), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, and so forth. It will be demonstrated that ROS overproduction (oxidative stress) is a main origin of the transformation of normal physiological signaling processes into the damaging ones. Furthermore the favorable effects of low/moderate oxidative stress through preconditioning mechanisms in ischemia/reperfusion will be considered. And in the last part we will discuss the possibility of efficient application of antioxidants and enzyme/gene inhibitors for the regulation of damaging ROS signaling in heart disorders.
PMCID: PMC3170796  PMID: 21912722

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