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Free Radic Res. 2004 Feb;38(2):105-22.

Isoprostanes: novel bioactive products of lipid peroxidation.

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Section of Geriatrics and Clinical Nutrition Research, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University, Box 609, SE-751 25 Uppsala, Sweden.


Isoprostanes, are a novel group of prostaglandin-like compounds that are biosynthesised from esterified polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) through a non-enzymatic free radical-catalysed reaction. Several of these compounds possess potent biological activity, as evidenced mainly through their pulmonary and renal vasoconstrictive effects, and have short half-lives. It has been shown that isoprostanes act as full or partial agonists through thromboxane receptors. Both human and experimental studies have indicated associations of isoprostanes and severe inflammatory conditions, ischemia-reperfusion, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Reports have shown that F2-isoprostanes are authentic biomarkers of lipid peroxidation and can be used as potential in vivo indicators of oxidant stress in various clinical conditions, as well as in evaluations of antioxidants or drugs for their free radical-scavenging properties. Higher levels of F2-isoprostanes have been found in the normal human pregnancy compared to non-pregnancy, but their physiological role has not been well studied so far. Since bioactive F2-isoprostanes are continuously formed in various tissues and large amounts of these potent compounds are found unmetabolised in their free acid form in the urine in normal basal conditions with a wide inter-individual variation, their role in the regulation of normal physiological functions could be of further biological interest, but has yet to be disclosed. Their potent biological activity has attracted great attention among scientists, since these compounds are found in humans and animals in both physiological and pathological conditions and can be used as reliable biomarkers of lipid peroxidation.

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