Reactive Oxygen Species and the Microcirculation

John G. Wood and Norberto C. Gonzalez

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas

Oxidative stress to the vascular endothelium is now recognized to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of many vascular diseases, including ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), athlerosclerosis, diabetes, and systemic hypoxia. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are normally produced in all cells during aerobic metabolism. Although ROS are highly reactive, multiple defenses exist within cells to prevent ROS-induced dysfunction. However, these defenses may be overwhelmed in conditions that markedly increase oxidant generation. When such a state of oxidative stress develops, a host of microvascular inflammatory responses may be initiated, resulting in impaired microvascular function and potentially contributing to the progression of cardiovascular disease. This article will examine the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the microcirculation, pathways capable of generating ROS, and endogenous defenses against oxidative stress. Finally, evidence will be presented regarding the role of ROS in the pathogenesis of microvascular inflammation resulting from I/R and systemic hypoxia.

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Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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