Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases; a mechanistic insight

Biomed Pharmacother. 2015 Aug;74:101-10. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2015.07.025. Epub 2015 Aug 7.


Mitochondria is one of the main source of oxidative stress (ROS), as it utilizes the oxygen for the energy production. ROS and RNS are normally generated by tightly regulated enzymes. Excessive stimulation of NAD(P)H and electron transport chain leads to the overproduction of ROS, results in oxidative stress, which is a good mediator to injure the cell structures, lipids, proteins, and DNA. Various oxidative events implicated in many diseases due to oxidative stress include alteration in mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial lipids and mitochondrial DNA, Which in turn leads to the damage to nerve cell as they are metabolically very active. ROS/RNS at moderate concentrations also play roles in normal physiology of many processes like signaling pathways, induction of mitogenic response and in defense against infectious pathogens. Oxidative stress has been considered to be the main cause in the etiology of many diseases, which includes Parkinson's and Alzheimer diseases. Several PD associated genes have been found to be involved in mitochondrial function, dynamics and morphology as well. This review includes source of free radical generation, chemistry and biochemistry of ROS/RNS and mitochondrial dysfunction and the mechanism involved in neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s diseases; Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Oxidative stress; Parkinson’s diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Mitochondria / pathology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Free Radicals
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species