Free radical biology & medicine

Nitrogen dioxide and carbonate radical anion: two emerging radicals in biology.

PMID 11978486


Nitrogen dioxide and carbonate radical anion have received sporadic attention thus far from biological investigators. However, accumulating data on the biochemical reactions of nitric oxide and its derived oxidants suggest that these radicals may play a role in various pathophysiological processes. These potential roles are also indicated by recent studies on the high efficiency of urate and nitroxides in protecting cells and whole animals against the injury associated with conditions of excessive nitric oxide production. The high protective effects of these antioxidants are incompletely defined at the mechanistic level but some of them can be explained by their efficiency in scavenging peroxynitrite-derived radicals, particularly nitrogen dioxide and carbonate radical anion. In this review, we provide a framework for this hypothesis and discuss the potential sources and properties of these radicals that are likely to become increasingly recognized as important mediators of biological processes.