Dysregulated redox signalling plays a central role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). To date only a small number of biomarkers that reflect cellular redox status have been identified and these markers have not been utilised in the clinical setting. There are currently no good circulating biomarkers that closely represent sub-cellular dysregulated redox signalling in the tissue, arterial wall or myocardium. Improved prognostic ability, and potentially early disease detection and risk stratification may be achieved through a more reflective biomarker of the dysregulated signalling microdomain. Whilst there is no currently identified circulating redox biomarker reflecting the intricacies of sub-cellular redox dysregulation in cardiovascular disease, there are some markers that are either directly or indirectly related to redox state that have been associated with cardiovascular diseases. Metabolomics platforms allow for the measurement of metabolites that are related to or result from lipid and protein oxidation.
Metabolomics is an unbiased approach that allows the identification and quantification of small molecules within a biological fluid. Advances in metabolomic platform technologies as well as bioinformatic approaches may allow for the rapid identification and utilisation of novel biomarkers that accurately reflect intracellular redox status relevant to the development of CVD. Omics studies allow incorporation and analysis of large amounts of data that represent the entirety of a particular biological parameter within a biological fluid or tissue. Metabolic signatures identified through metabolomic analysis may be relatively simple, involving a small number of metabolites, or may be complex and may include permutations of hundreds or even thousands of metabolites. These diverse metabolic signatures have a vast array of potential utility including: early disease detection and diagnosis; disease activity and treatment monitoring; and in identifying new biological pathways and potential treatment targets. Systems biology provides a platform to try to unpack the underlying relationships, interconnected networks and mechanisms contained within the complex signatures.
Advances in metabolomics technologies, and bioinformatics capabilities will assist in identification and precise measurement of both candidate and unsuspected metabolites in the circulation that reflect dysregulated redox signalling and may be of relevance to clinical practice and our efforts to improve cardiovascular health.
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