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The Role Of Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species In Cardiovascular Injury And Protective Strategies

Danina M. Muntean, Adrian Sturza, Maria D. Dănilă, Claudia Borza, Oana M. Duicu, Cristian Mornoș

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Ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury of the heart represents a major health burden mainly associated with acute coronary syndromes. While timely coronary reperfusion has become the established routine therapy in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction, the restoration of blood flow into the previously ischaemic area is always accompanied by myocardial injury. The central mechanism involved in this phenomenon is represented by the excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Besides their harmful role when highly generated during early reperfusion, minimal ROS formation during ischaemia and/or at reperfusion is critical for the redox signaling of cardioprotection. In the past decades, mitochondria have emerged as the major source of ROS as well as a critical target for cardioprotective strategies at reperfusion. Mitochondria dysfunction associated with I/R myocardial injury is further described and ultimately analyzed with respect to its role as source of both deleterious and beneficial ROS. Furthermore, the contribution of ROS in the highly investigated field of conditioning strategies is analyzed. In the end, the vascular sources of mitochondria-derived ROS are briefly reviewed.