An overview of lipid peroxidation with emphasis in outer segments of photoreceptors and the chemiluminescence assay

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(9):1482-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2006.02.010. Epub 2006 Mar 2.


The onset of lipid peroxidation within cellular membranes is associated with changes in their physicochemical properties and with the impairment of protein functions located in the membrane environment. This article provides current information on the origin and function of polyunsaturated fatty acids in nature, lipid peroxidation of cellular membranes: enzymatic (lipoxygenases) and non-enzymatic. The latest knowledge on in vivo biomarkers of lipid peroxidation including isoprostanes, isofurans and neuroprostanes are discussed. A further focus is placed on analytical methods for studying lipid peroxidation in membranes with emphasis in chemiluminescence and its origin, rod outer segments of photoreceptors, the effect of antioxidants, fatty acid hydroperoxides and lipid protein modifications. Since rhodopsin, the major integral protein of rod outer segments is surrounded by phospholipids highly enriched in docosahexaenoic acid, the author proposes the outer segments of photoreceptors as an excellent model to study lipid peroxidation using the chemiluminescence assay since these membranes contain the highest concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids of any vertebrate tissue and are highly susceptible to oxidative damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / physiology
  • Furans / analysis
  • Humans
  • Isoprostanes / analysis
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology*
  • Lipid Peroxides / physiology
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / physiology*


  • Aldehydes
  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Furans
  • Isoprostanes
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Lipoxygenase