Original Research

Oxygen toxicity

C. A. van der Westhuizen, M. Viljoen, M. J. Pitout, P. H. van Papendorp
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 9, No 3 | a462 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v9i3.462 | © 1990 C. A. van der Westhuizen, M. Viljoen, M. J. Pitout, P. H. van Papendorp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 July 1990 | Published: 08 July 1990

About the author(s)

C. A. van der Westhuizen,, South Africa
M. Viljoen,, South Africa
M. J. Pitout,, South Africa
P. H. van Papendorp,, South Africa

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Abstract

Oxygen has been discovered about 200 years ago. Since then the vital physiological involvement of oxygen in various biologi­cal processes, mainly energy production, has been established. However, in the body molecular oxygen can be converted to toxic oxygen metabolites such as superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, the hydroxyl radical and singlet oxygen. These toxic metabolites are produced mainly in the mitochondria, plasma membranes and endoplasmic reticulum.

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