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Free Radicals, Nitric Oxide, and Inflammation

Molecular, Biochemical, and Clinical Aspects


Inflammation is the local response of a complex organism to an injury that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissues. It is now well understood that damaging mechanisms at the basis of very common human pathologies, such as atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer, i.e. the most common human pathologies are driven by the inflammatory process. Free radicals, and the very special free radical nitric oxide, are playing a relevant role in the pathogenesis of inflammation. The initial chapters introduce to the general knowledge necessary to understand the inflammatory process and the role played by free radical and oxidative stress. The interplay between inflammatory molecules and cell signaling is also dealt with in depth. A second part is dedicated to nitric oxide, redox regulation and antioxidant function in inflammation. The final chapters are devoted to diseases where inflammation plays the dominant role: septic shock, end-stage renal disease, neurodegenerative, ischemic and lung diseases. This book, while not covering the whole gamut of the massive literature on inflammation and human diseases, gives an updated and concise view on the major issues concerning the pivotal role of inflammation in so many different human pathologies. At the same time it gives directions for future paths of research leading to a control of the pathologic process.

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