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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2007 Oct;9(10):1757-71.

Use of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to evaluate the redox state in vivo.

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Department of Radiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.


The aim of this article is to provide an overview of how electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) can be used to measure redox-related parameters in vivo. The values of this approach include that the measurements are made under fully physiological conditions, and some of the measurements cannot be made by other means. Three complementary approaches are used with in vivo EPR: the rate of reduction or reactions of nitroxides, spin trapping of free radicals, and measurements of thiols. All three approaches already have produced unique and useful information. The measurement of the rate of decrease of nitroxides technically is the simplest, but difficult to interpret because the measured parameter, reduction in the intensity of the nitroxide signal, can occur by several different mechanisms. In vivo spin trapping can provide direct evidence for the occurrence of specific free radicals in vivo and reflect relative changes, but accurate absolute quantification remains challenging. The measurement of thiols in vivo also appears likely to be useful, but its development as an in vivo technique is at an early stage. It seems likely that the use of in vivo EPR to measure redox processes will become an increasingly utilized and valuable tool.

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