Markers of oxidant stress that are clinically relevant in aging and age-related disease

Mech Ageing Dev. 2013 Mar;134(3-4):139-57. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2013.02.008. Epub 2013 Feb 18.


Despite the long held hypothesis that oxidant stress results in accumulated oxidative damage to cellular macromolecules and subsequently to aging and age-related chronic disease, it has been difficult to consistently define and specifically identify markers of oxidant stress that are consistently and directly linked to age and disease status. Inflammation because it is also linked to oxidant stress, aging, and chronic disease also plays an important role in understanding the clinical implications of oxidant stress and relevant markers. Much attention has focused on identifying specific markers of oxidative stress and inflammation that could be measured in easily accessible tissues and fluids (lymphocytes, plasma, serum). The purpose of this review is to discuss markers of oxidant stress used in the field as biomarkers of aging and age-related diseases, highlighting differences observed by race when data is available. We highlight DNA, RNA, protein, and lipid oxidation as measures of oxidative stress, as well as other well-characterized markers of oxidative damage and inflammation and discuss their strengths and limitations. We present the current state of the literature reporting use of these markers in studies of human cohorts in relation to age and age-related disease and also with a special emphasis on differences observed by race when relevant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / pharmacology
  • Erythrocytes / cytology
  • Free Radicals
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Guanine / pharmacology
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Isoprostanes / chemistry
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species


  • Biomarkers
  • Free Radicals
  • Isoprostanes
  • Oxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Heme
  • 8-hydroxyguanine
  • Guanine
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Deoxyguanosine
  • Glutathione