Lipid peroxidation and tissue damage
In recent years it has become apparent that the oxidation of lipids, or lipid peroxidation, is a crucial step in the pathogenesis of several disease states in adult and infant patients. Lipid peroxidation is a process generated naturally in small amounts in the body, mainly by the effect of several reactive oxygen species (hydroxyl radical, hydrogen peroxide etc.). It can also be generated by the action of several phagocytes. These reactive oxygen species readily attack the polyunsaturated fatty acids of the fatty acid membrane, initiating a self- propagating chain reaction. The destruction of membrane lipids and the end-products of such lipid peroxidation reactions are especially dangerous for the viability of cells, even tissues. Enzymatic (catalase, super oxide dismutasse) and nonenzymatic (vitamins A and E) natural antioxidant defence mechanisms exist; however, these mechanisms may be overcome, causing lipid peroxidation to take place. Since lipid peroxidation is a self-propagating chain-reaction, the initial oxidation of only a few lipid molecules can result in significant tissue damage. Despite extensive research in the field of lipid peroxidation it has not yet been precisely determined if it is the cause or an effect of several pathological conditions. Lipid peroxidation has been implicated in disease states such as atherosclerosis, IBD, ROP, BPD, asthma, Parkinson's disease, kidney damage, preeclampsia and others.