Lipids can go through lipid peroxidation, an endogenous chain reaction that consists in the oxidative degradation of lipids leading to the generation of a wide variety of highly reactive carbonyl species (RCS), such as short-chain carbonyl derivatives and oxidized truncated phospholipids.
RCS exert a wide range of biological effects due to their ability to interact and covalently bind to nucleophilic groups on other macromolecules, such as nucleic acids, phospholipids, and proteins, forming reversible and/or irreversible modifications and generating the so-called advanced lipoxidation end-products (ALEs).
Lipoxidation plays a relevant role in the onset of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), mainly in the atherosclerosis-based diseases in which oxidized lipids and their adducts have been extensively characterized and associated with several processes responsible for the onset and development of atherosclerosis, such as endothelial dysfunction and inflammation.
The Authors of this paper reviewed the current knowledge on the sources of lipids that undergo oxidation in the context of cardiovascular diseases, both from the bloodstream and tissues, and the methods for detection, characterization, and quantitation of their oxidative products and protein adducts.
Among other conclusions, they emphasize that even the antioxidants can be used to reduce ALEs formation, they cannot neutralize the effects of ALEs when adducts are already formed, and this aspect could explain why in vitro or pre-clinical efficacy of antioxidant treatment is not always confirmed in vivo, in human patients.