Oxidative stress

What is oxidative stress?

While oxygen is a vital component of life, some oxygen-based compounds called free radicals can be toxic due to their highly unstable nature. The key free radical classes are the reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, and they are formed as by-products of normal metabolism. Under normal conditions, these free radicals are tightly monitored and controlled by stringent protective barriers, such as their rapid removal from cells and antioxidant enzymes that break them down.

At tightly maintained concentrations, free radicals play an important role in cellular signalling, immune responses and cell growth. However, excess free radicals can result from interruption of the antioxidant defense barrier, or from excess production. This can cause oxidative stress, resulting in structural damage to cellular proteins, fats, carbohydrates and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Severe oxidative stress can result in failure of cell growth, apoptosis and cell necrosis.

What is the evidence for oxidative stress in people with bipolar disorder?

High quality evidence suggests a small increase in glutathione in the anterior cinguate of people with bipolar disorder, particularly bipolar II disorder.

Moderate quality evidence suggests large effects of increased lipid peroxidation, nitric oxide and DNA/RNA damage in people with bipolar disorder compared to controls, with no increases in superoxidedismutase, catalase, proteincarbonyl, glutathione peroxidase, or 3-nitrotyrosine.

April 2019

Last updated at: 2:44 am, 9th April 2019
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NeuRA Libraries

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