Biological Oxidants

The biologically derived oxidants are potent bacterial killers but are also a major contributing factor in tissue injury that results from the inflammatory response. These oxidants include the superoxide anion (•O2"), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), nitric oxide (•NO), peroxynitrite (•OONO),hypochlorous acid (HOCl),peroxidase-gen-erated oxidants of undefined character, probably the hy-droxyl radical (•OH), and possibly singlet oxygen 0O2). These oxidants, largely generated by phagocytic cells such as neutrophils and macrophages, induce tissue injury beyond that produced by digestive enzymes and eicosanoids. Inhibition of production of these oxidants or inactivation of these substances by antioxidants is an important strategy for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.

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