It is well known that reactive oxygen metabolites are generated during several pathologies, and that they are able to disturb many cellular processes and eventually lead to cellular injury. After intestinal ischemia, reactive oxygen species are produced when the ischemic tissue is reperfused. The enzyme xanthine oxidase is thought to play a key role in this process. As a result of this oxygen radical production, the permeability of the endothelium and the mucosa increases, allowing infiltration of inflammatory leukocytes into the ischemic area. Moreover, reactive oxygen species are also indirectly involved in leukocyte activation. In turn, these inflammatory cells respond with the production of oxygen radicals, which play an important role in the development of tissue injury. Thus, intestinal ischemia and reperfusion evokes an inflammatory response. Also during chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases, reactive oxygen metabolites are proposed to play an important role in the pathology. Scavenging of reactive oxygen species will thus be beneficial in these disorders.
A van der Vliet, A Bast
Free radical biology & medicine