Oxidative stress in intensive care unit patients: a review of glutathione linked metabolism and lipid peroxidation

  • Srikala Meda Division of Hematology and Oncology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Odessa, TX
  • Sharda Singh Division of Hematology and Oncology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock TX
  • Philip Palade Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arkansas for Med Sciences, Little Rock, AR
  • Sahil Tonk Division of Hematology and Oncology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock TX
  • Sanjay Awasthi
Keywords: Oxidative stress, multiorgan failure, lipid peroxidation, antioxidant, Ralbp1, RLIP76, p53, TP53


Despite clear evidence of increased oxidative stress in the blood and tissues of critically ill intensive care unit patients, consistent beneficial effects of many different antioxidants have not been observed, and antioxidant therapy has not yet translated into widely accepted clinical practice. The reasons for this are unclear, likely rooted in the complex and context dependent free radical behavior of antioxidants interacting with the process of lipid peroxidation. Control of lipid peroxidation is a crucial requirement for the beneficial effects of antioxidants, but the interactions of biological antioxidant defenses with the potentially harmful free radical behavior of pharmacological antioxidants complicates the dose and selection of the optimal antioxidants. Glutathione, the primary small molecule antioxidant in biological systems, is the primary enzymatic oxidative stress defense that operates in the context of glutathione-linked antioxidant enzymes to metabolize many harmful products of lipid peroxidation to mercapturic acids. Recently, the mercapturic acid transporter protein, RLIP76 (human RALBP1 gene), has been shown to have a critical role in glutathione linked oxidative stress defenses. These findings provide a rationale for new approaches towards selection and dosing of antioxidant to improve their clinical benefit.


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How to Cite
Meda, S., Singh, S., Palade, P., Tonk, S., & Awasthi, S. (2019). Oxidative stress in intensive care unit patients: a review of glutathione linked metabolism and lipid peroxidation. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 7(27), 7-35. https://doi.org/10.12746/swrccc.v7i27.511