[Reactive nitrogen and oxygen species].Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009 Oct; 27(160):338-40.PM
Reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are mainly free radicals which including non-paired electrons. They are constantly formed as side products of biological reactions. They are also generated directly and indirectly by the cells which were exposed to environmental stress, i.e., UV radiation, ionizing radiation, xenobioticts, light-absorbing compounds, e.g., porphyrines. These factors, which are a source of free radicals, initiate a significant signaling cascade inducing many changes in cells, such as cancerogenic transformation or cell death. Cells protect themselves against oxidative stress by means of antioxidative enzymes and compounds which in their structure have redox sensitive spots.