Positive oxidative stress in aging and aging-related disease tolerance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


It is now well established that reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and a basal level of oxidative stress are essential for cell survival. It is also well known that while severe oxidative stress often leads to widespread oxidative damage and cell death, a moderate level of oxidative stress, induced by a variety of stressors, can yield great beneficial effects on adaptive cellular responses to pathological challenges in aging and aging-associated disease tolerance such as ischemia tolerance. Here in this review, I term this moderate level of oxidative stress as positive oxidative stress, which usually involves imprinting molecular signatures on lipids and proteins via formation of lipid peroxidation by-products and protein oxidation adducts. As ROS/RNS are short-lived molecules, these molecular signatures can thus execute the ultimate function of ROS/RNS. Representative examples of lipid peroxidation products and protein oxidation adducts are presented to illustrate the role of positive oxidative stress in a variety of pathological settings, demonstrating that positive oxidative stress could be a valuable prophylactic and/or therapeutic approach targeting aging and aging-associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalRedox Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Aging
  • Disease tolerance
  • Positive oxidative stress
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species


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