Cell ProTx offers a range of assays to screen compounds for their abilities to protect against, or induce, oxidative damage in a variety of cell types
- Identification of lead compounds as possible therapeutic agents using appropriate cell types, stress conditions and markers of cell damage for the clinical condition of interest.
- Determination of ROS generation, free radical-induced cell damage and loss of viability by cytotoxic agents
- Identification of natural antioxidants for cosmetic use or food preservation
- Assessment of the antioxidant capacity of plant or food extracts
Examples of medical conditions associated with oxidative stress
• Parkinson's disease
• Huntington's disease
• Alzheimer's disease
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
• Optic neuropathies
• Ischaemic stroke
• Coronary infarction
• Tissue reperfusion damage
• Ulcerative colitis
• Crohn's disease
• Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed continuously in the human body as a normal by-product of respiration and energy production in the cell. To counteract the damaging effects of these highly-reactive compounds, the body has evolved a complex defence system comprised of detoxifying enzymes, associated co-factors such as glutathione, metal sequestering proteins and dietary-derived antioxidants including vitamin E, vitamin C and polyphenols of which the flavonoid family are a well-known sub-group.
Oxidative stress occurs when ROS production exceeds the rate at which the body's defences can adequately remove these reactive species from the system. This results in free radical damage to a variety of key biomolecules including proteins, DNA and cell membrane lipids.
Oxidative stress and free radical damage are associated with a number of diseases and medical conditions. Therefore, strategies aimed at reducing oxidative stress have significant clinical potential. Conversely, controlled and targeted induction of oxidative stress may also have application; for example in the destruction of tumour cells.
Cell ProTx's personnel have long-standing expertise in the field of free radical biology and medicine with a particular focus on the identification of molecules that can protect against, or promote, oxidative damage in the cell. The company is therefore well-placed to offer a range of in vitro assays to clients to screen molecules for both antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities.