L-Glutathione, Pathologies Resulting From Cellular Exposure to Reactive Oxygen Species, and Potential Applications of Glutathione Level Manipulation in Cells
Winchell, Noah A.
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Glutathione is a potent reducing agent whose depletion has been implicated in many different diseases and physiological conditions. Reactive oxygen species in cells, which glutathione is partially responsible for reducing, are produced .during times of increased cellular respiration due to stress and lead to a intracellular condition known as oxidative stress, which is a buildup of reactive oxygen species which the cell cannot process quickly enough to prevent intracellular damage. Physiological conditions in which the accumulation of reactive oxygen species as a result of glutathione depletion have been characterized include cystic fibrosis, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, diabetes, numerous cancers, as well as neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Low levels of intracellular glutathione can enable the onset of oxidative stress, and oxidative stress has been implicated as a contributing factor in the onset and further development of genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, physiological defects such as diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease. A viable means of increasing levels of glutathione in patients with low levels of intracellular glutathione would have therapeutic implications for an extremely diverse set of conditions. For this reason, the development of such a supplement should be a priority for researchers studying intracellular oxidation-reduction reactions, the onset of oxidative stress, and the effects of increased intracellular levels of antioxidants.
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