Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Oxidative Stress

  • Sarah Aldred
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1339




Oxidative stress is an environment where the balance of prooxidant species to antioxidant species is altered in favor of the former. Prooxidant species include free radicals (e.g., the superoxide ion; O2) and nonradical species (e.g., hydrogen peroxide; H2O2), which together are classified as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS). RONS are produced as a consequence of normal cellular oxidation processes. Sources include the mitochondrial electron transport chain, peroxisomes, endothelial or hepatic xanthine oxidase, and leukocytes. RONS have a variety of roles in normal homeostasis, including respiration and cellular signaling: RONS are reported to act as transient signaling molecules in the Ras GDP/GTP cycle and MAP kinase cascades, through modification of protein-bound redox-sensitive thiol groups.

Antioxidants serve to delay or prevent the oxidation of substrates or cellular constituents. They may be endogenous, for example, the enzymes superoxide...

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References and Readings

  1. Halliwell, B., & Gutteridge, J. (2007). Free radicals in biology and medicine (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesThe University of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK