Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced during normal metabolism and fulfill physiological functions. Due of their high chemical reactivity, accumulation of ROS are known to damage:
Mammalian cells possess mechanisms to neutralize excess ROS and reduce oxidative stress; however the brain is much more vulnerable than other tissues to oxidative stress, as it has elevated oxygen consumption and consequently generates large amounts of ROS. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of brain cells is highly susceptible to structural alterations resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. Several lines of evidence suggest that these effects may cause neurodegenerative disorders.
SynAging offers an in vitro model of oxidative stress using H2O2 as the degenerating stimulant. Clients can test active substances, nutraceuticals and dietary supplements to test their positive pharmacological effects by neutralizing the negative effects of ROS. Readouts are based on neuronal survival (LifeDeath™ Assay) and presence of free radicals using the dichlorofluorescein (DCF) assay. In the DCF assay, the non-fluorescent fluorescein derivative will become fluorescent by various oxidants, giving a measure of ROS activity.