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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2008 Aug;10(8):1405-34. doi: 10.1089/ars.2007.1956.

F2-isoprostanes in human health and diseases: from molecular mechanisms to clinical implications.

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Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


Oxidative stress is implicated as one of the major underlying mechanisms behind many acute and chronic diseases, and involved in normal aging. However, the measurement of free radicals or their end products is complicated. Thus, proof of association of free radicals in pathologic conditions has been absent. Isoprostanes are prostaglandin-like bioactive compounds that are biosynthesized in vivo independent of cyclooxygenases, principally through free-radical catalyzation of arachidonic acid. Isoprostanes are now considered to be reliable biomarkers of oxidative stress, as evidenced by an autonomous study organized recently by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. A number of these compounds have potent biologic activities such as vasoconstrictive and certain inflammatory properties. Isoprostanes are involved in many human diseases. Additionally, elevated levels of F(2)-isoprostanes have been seen in normal human pregnancy and after intake of some fatty acids, but their physiologic assignments have not yet been distinctive. This evidence indicates that measurement of bioactive F(2)-isoprostanes in body fluids offers a unique noninvasive analytic utensil to study the role of free radicals in physiology, oxidative stress-related diseases, experimental acute or chronic inflammatory conditions, and also in the assessment of various antioxidants, radical scavengers, and drugs.

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