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Current Topics in Toxicology   Volumes    Volume 1 
Toxic metals and oxidative stress part II: role of antioxidants in metal-induced oxidative damage
Suman Penugonda, Nuran Ercal
Pages: 53 - 71
Number of pages: 19
Current Topics in Toxicology
Volume 1 

Copyright © 2004 Research Trends. All rights reserved


Recent studies indicate that toxic metals (lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic) may increase the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydroxyl radical (HO.), superoxide radical (O2.-) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This increase may disrupt the balance between free radicals and the cells antioxidant defense leading to a condition known as “oxidative stress”. In the first part of this review, metal-induced oxidative stress has been discussed in detail. This second part will summarize the effects of various antioxidants on metal-induced toxicities, in particular redox-inactive metals including lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Recent studies (including ours) indicate that various antioxidants play an important role in eliminating metal-induced oxidative damage. Among antioxidants, thiol-containing compounds deserve more attention due to the fact that thiols are well-known metal chelators. This prompts another discussion, that thiol-containing antioxidants are beneficial in metal toxicity because they remove metal from the system. Indeed, thiols most probably play a dual function in metal toxicities by both removing the metal and decreasing the oxidative stress. Therefore, this review will focus primarily on three groups of antioxidants     in metal toxicities: 1) antioxidants with a potential chelation function, 2) antioxidant vitamins, and  3) miscellaneous antioxidants. Several antioxidants, in conjunction with a thiol chelator, can intervene in  heavy  metal  poisoning  by  improving  the  mobilization  and excretion of these metals

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