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Definition of Reactive oxygen species

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reactive oxygen species: Species such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical. At low levels, these species may function in cell signalling processes. At higher levels, these species may damage cellular macromolecules (such as DNA and RNA) and participate in apoptosis (programmed cell death).

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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