Oxygen Radical-Mediated Oxidation of Serotonin: Potential Relationship to Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • Monika Z. Wrona
  • Zhaoliang Yang
  • Jolanta Waskiewicz
  • Glenn Dryhurst
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


Oxygen free radicals have been implicated as a pathoetiological factor in aging1–5 and in a number of neurodegenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease,1,6–9 Parkinson’s Disease,10–12 transient cerebral ischemia13 and as a result of methamphetamine14–16 and ethanol17 abuse. The brain appears to be particularly vulnerable to oxygen radical-mediated damage, often referred to as oxidative stress, because of several biochemical features that include high oxygen consumption, high iron content of some brain regions,4 relatively low levels of protective enzymes and antioxidants such as the tocopherols,5 and high content of peroxidizable polyunsaturated fatty acids associated with lipid membranes. It seems to be rather widely accepted that oxygen radicals formed in the central nervous system (CNS) limit their damage to lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.5,7–13,18 However, it is of relevance to note that in all of the neurodegenerative brain disorders noted previously the serotonergic, noradrenergic and/or dopaminergic systems are seriously damaged. The neurotransmitters employed by these systems, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin), norepinephrine (NE), and dopamine (DA) are all very easily oxidized species.19–22 Thus, it seems likely that these neurotransmitters are also prime targets for oxygen radical-mediated oxidation. Accordingly, a major focus of research in this laboratory is to explore the hypothesis that the aberrant oxidative metabolites of these neurotransmitters might include endotoxins that contribute to the degenerative processes.23–26


Ascorbic Acid GABAB Receptor Mediate Oxidation Incidental Lewy Body Disease System Degeneration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Z. Wrona
    • 1
  • Zhaoliang Yang
    • 1
  • Jolanta Waskiewicz
    • 1
  • Glenn Dryhurst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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