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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 67

by Professor T. Ozben, Akdeniz University, Antalya (Turkey)

This book (NATO ASI SERIES A296) contains the proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute (ASI) on "Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants. Pathological and Physiological Significance" which was held in Antalya, Turkey from May 24 - June 4, 1997. It presents the contents of the lectures and a selection of the most relevant oral presentations. These proceedings offer a comprehensive account of the most important topics discussed at the Institute.

There has been an explosion of research related to free radicals and antioxidants in recent years, and hundreds of laboratories worldwide are actively involved in many aspects of free radicals, oxidative stress, and antioxidants. The literature on these topics increases exponentially every year. Over the last few years, we have been fortunate to witness a widespread recognition of the important role of free radicals in a wide variety of pathological conditions, including diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, ischemia, emphysema, diabetes, radiation injury, cancer, etc. In addition, many laboratories are studying the role of free radicals in the inexorable process of aging. Increased evidence involves free radicals with the etiology of various diseases, thereby suggesting the use of antioxidants as a viable therapeutic approach for the treatment of free radical mediated pathologies.

The book brings together some of the foremost researchers in the field of free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidants and presents up-to-date information concerning new developments in this exciting area of research in quite separate fields of biochemical science and includes a wide range of issues such as basic concepts, methods and techniques used in this area.

The book examines and evaluates our understanding of the mechanisms involved in free radical reactions and the role of free radicals in various disease states and also in the inexorable process of aging and physical exercise. The book presents different perspectives concerning protein oxidation and proteolysis in response to oxidative stress in aging and disease, the molecular mechanisms underlying ischemia-reperfusion injury, the role of free radicals in cerebral ischemia and Alzheimer's Disease, nitric oxide regulation of biological oxidation reactions and the critical role of superoxide to nitric oxide, free radical and nitric oxide mediated damage to ischemic tissues and the role of transition metals in free radical induced tissue damage, especially iron and copper. Age-related changes of respirators enzymes and free radical production in mitochondria and the importance of mitochondrial glutathione to prevent age associated oxidative damage to DNA are targets for age-associated free radical damage. The role of heavy physical exercise on free radical production and glutathion oxidation is also emphasized. Several contributors present methods available for the quantification of the antioxidant capacity (AOC) and the oxidant stress (OS) for investigating free radical mediated pathologies including EPR spectroscopy, detection of clastogenic materials in the plasma of patients under oxidative stress, chemiluminescence measurements for the detection of free radical species and use of spin traps. Mechanisms of antioxidant action and the use of antioxidants as a viable therapeutic approach for the treatment of various free radical related diseases and aging are presented in detail.

The book will be of considerable interest to scientists and clinicians working in this fertile area of free radical and antioxidant research, and to researchers seeking information on diet and health, and to those investigating the effects of various antioxidants. One of the major topics covered in depth concerns various antioxidants such as RRR-alpha tocopherol, carotenoids including lycopene, beta-carotene, quinones, melatonin and ascorbic acid, some small molecule antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, those contained in herbal antioxidants and alpha-lipoic acid. In addition to these naturally occurring antioxidant compounds, the effects of synthetic antioxidants including derivatives of naturally occurring compounds, the effects of synthetic antioxidants including derivatives of natural antioxidants (e.g., alpha tocopherol analogs), phenolic antioxidants (such as probucol and nitecapone), 21 aminosteroids or lazaroids, sulfhydryl-containing compounds (thiazolidine, ebselen, dithiolethiones) and low-molecular weight mimics or superoxide dismutase are presented.

This book is comprehensive and is a reference work which reflects the knowledge of leading experts in the field of free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidants in any scientific endeavour. It clarifies various controversies observed in free radical related pathologies. It is important for scientists, technologists and clinicians who are interested in different aspects of free radical and antioxidant research. The book contains 33 chapters prepared and written by outstanding scientists from all over the world. It is supported by over 2500 references and contains a vast amount of schemes, figures and tables. This book is intended to make the proceedings accessible to a large audience.
Reference books: 3-27, A246, A296, H92, H101, H106

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