Toxicological and pathophysiological roles of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

Ruth A. Roberts, Robert A. Smith, Stephen Safe, Csaba Szabo, Ronald B. Tjalkens, Fredika M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


'Oxidative and Nitrative Stress in Toxicology and Disease' was the subject of a symposium held at the EUROTOX meeting in Dresden 15th September 2009. Reactive oxygen (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) produced during tissue pathogenesis and in response to viral or chemical toxicants, induce a complex series of downstream adaptive and reparative events driven by the associated oxidative and nitrative stress. As highlighted by all the speakers, ROS and RNS can promote diverse biological responses associated with a spectrum of disorders including neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular diseases. Similar pathways are implicated during the process of liver and skin carcinogenesis. Mechanistically, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species drive sustained cell proliferation, cell death including both apoptosis and necrosis, formation of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA mutations, and in some cases stimulation of a pro-angiogenic environment. Here we illustrate the pivotal role played by oxidative and nitrative stress in cell death, inflammation and pain and its consequences for toxicology and disease pathogenesis. Examples are presented from five different perspectives ranging from in vitro model systems through to in vivo animal model systems and clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Carcinogenesis
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Inflammation
  • Neurotoxicology
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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