The central role of oxidative signalling in cardiovascular pathophysiology positions biometric measures of redox state as excellent markers for research and clinical application. However, despite this tantalizing biological plausibility, no redox biomarker is currently in widespread clinical use. Major recent insights into the mechanistic complexities of redox signalling may yet provide the opportunity to identify markers that most closely reflect the underlying pathobiology. Such redox biomarkers may, in principle, quantify the integrated effects of various known and unknown pathophysiological drivers of cardiovascular disease processes. Recent advances with the greatest potential include assays measuring post-translational oxidative modifications that have significant cellular effects. However, analytical issues, including the relative instability of redox-modified products, remain a major technical obstacle. Appreciation of these challenges may facilitate future development of user-friendly markers with prognostic value in addition to traditional risk factors, and which could be used to guide personalized cardiovascular therapies. We review both established and recently identified biomarkers of redox signalling, and provide a realistic discussion of the many challenges that remain if they are to be incorporated into clinical practice. Despite the current lack of redox biomarkers in clinical application, the integral role of reactive oxygen species in pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease provides a strong incentive for continued efforts.
Keywords: Biomarker; Cardiovascular disease; Caveolae; Reactive oxygen species; Redox signalling.
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