Reactive Oxygen Species and Antimicrobial Defenses of Invertebrates: A Bivalve Model

  • Robert S. Anderson
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 484)


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are cytotoxic agents produced by many phagocytic cells in response to membrane perturbations such as receptor-ligand interactions and phagocytosis. These agents are used to defend against infectious diseases by virtue of their antimicrobial properties. The initial ROS generated, the superoxide anion (O2-), is spontaneously or enzymatically converted to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which can give rise to even more toxic products, such as hydroxyl radical (•0H), hypochlorous acid (HOCI), and singlet oxygen (1O2). The ROS are toxic in their own right or may exert increased antimicrobial activity in concert with lysosomal hydrolases and/or reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Phagocyte activation triggers the assembly of a membrane-associated enzyme NADPH oxidase, which produces O from molecular oxygen and NADPH. Over-production of ROS by blood cells can overwhelm antioxidant defenses leading to various manifestations of oxidative stress. Human beings with genetic abnormalities in NADPH oxidase present with recurrent bacterial and fungal infections, granulomatous infiltration of many organs, and early deaths characteristic of chronic granulomatous disease (Bridges, Berendes and Good, 1959).


Reactive Oxygen Species Production NADPH Oxidase Reactive Oxygen Species Generation Chronic Granulomatous Disease Reactive Nitrogen Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological LaboratoryUniversity of MarylandSolomons

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