Reactive oxygen species in health and disease

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:936486. doi: 10.1155/2012/936486. Epub 2012 Aug 8.


During the past decades, it became obvious that reactive oxygen species (ROS) exert a multitude of biological effects covering a wide spectrum that ranges from physiological regulatory functions to damaging alterations participating in the pathogenesis of increasing number of diseases. This review summarizes the key roles played by the ROS in both health and disease. ROS are metabolic products arising from various cells; two cellular organelles are intimately involved in their production and metabolism, namely, the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria. Updates on research that tremendously aided in confirming the fundamental roles of both organelles in redox regulation will be discussed as well. Although not comprehensive, this review will provide brief perspective on some of the current research conducted in this area for better understanding of the ROS actions in various conditions of health and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Disease*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species