Redox-related biomarkers in human cardiovascular disease - classical footprints and beyond

Redox Biol. 2021 Jun;42:101875. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.101875. Epub 2021 Jan 23.


Global epidemiological studies show that chronic non-communicable diseases such as atherosclerosis and metabolic disorders represent the leading cause of premature mortality and morbidity. Cardiovascular disease such as ischemic heart disease is a major contributor to the global burden of disease and the socioeconomic health costs. Clinical and epidemiological data show an association of typical oxidative stress markers such as lipid peroxidation products, 3-nitrotyrosine or oxidized DNA/RNA bases with all major cardiovascular diseases. This supports the concept that the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by various sources (NADPH oxidases, xanthine oxidase and mitochondrial respiratory chain) represents a hallmark of the leading cardiovascular comorbidities such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes. These reactive oxygen and nitrogen species can lead to oxidative damage but also adverse redox signaling at the level of kinases, calcium handling, inflammation, epigenetic control, circadian clock and proteasomal system. The in vivo footprints of these adverse processes (redox biomarkers) are discussed in the present review with focus on their clinical relevance, whereas the details of their mechanisms of formation and technical aspects of their detection are only briefly mentioned. The major categories of redox biomarkers are summarized and explained on the basis of suitable examples. Also the potential prognostic value of redox biomarkers is critically discussed to understand what kind of information they can provide but also what they cannot achieve.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Comorbidities; Oxidative stress; Redox biomarker.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Reactive Oxygen Species


  • Biomarkers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • NADPH Oxidases