Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been associated with a wide variety of human diseases and disorders. The ability of these molecules can incapacitate antioxidant activity leading to an imbalance between oxidants and anti-oxidants, with the latter being more pronounced. ROS are no strangers to immune cell relationships and function and consequently the development of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The collateral damage of excessive ROS (collectively called Oxidative stress) to the cells or tissue due to nucleic acid damage and oxidation of macromolecules such as proteins and lipids is linked to the manifestation, malfunction and translation to the disease state of cells. Contrary to this view, recent studies have shown that ROS have protective roles in certain autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Despite significant advances in our understanding of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, therapeutics for these diseases still need further development and identification of new targets for improved therapeutic effect. ROS molecules and inflammation modulators appear before disease development making them great therapeutic targets with the potential to inhibit disease manifestation.
Part of the book: Reactive Oxygen Species