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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1982 Nov;60(11):1330-45.

Chemical and biochemical aspects of superoxide radicals and related species of activated oxygen.


The spectrum of biological processes in which oxygen is used by living systems is quite large, and the products include some damaging species of activated oxygen, particularly the superoxide radical (O-.2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide, in turn, can lead to the formation of other damaging species: hydroxyl radicals (.OH) and singlet oxygen (1O2). Hydroxyl radicals react with organic compounds to give secondary free radicals that, in the presence of oxygen, yield peroxy radicals, peroxides, and hydroperoxides. Formation, interconversion, and reactivity of O-.2 and related activated oxygen species, methods available for their detection, and the basis of their biological toxicity are briefly reviewed.

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