Nitrones have been extensively used for the detection of transient free radicals using electron
paramagnetic resonance. Since the mid-80’s, nitrones have also been widely used as protective agents
against oxidative stress in several biological models. Due to the high potency of nitrones, there has been
extensive research on the development of derivatives with improved biological and spin trapping properties
as well as enhanced intra-cellular compartmentalization. The chemical and pharmacological properties
of nitrones depend mainly on the connectivity as well as on the nature and the position of the substituents
on the nitrone group. Therefore, novel bioactive molecules have been designed and the development
of specific nitrone derivatives is aimed at providing new therapeutic approaches and perspectives
in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. This review focuses on the effects that are exerted by
the most promising nitrone antioxidants that are available. A comprehensive description of the unique
molecular mechanism and mediators that are targeted by these compounds is given to guide and enable
novel and successful approaches to the treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases associated with stress
and aging. New promising nitrone compounds are now available for further development by translational
medicine that exert superior bioactivity and efficacy.
Keywords: Nitrone Derivatives, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, Reactive Oxygen Species, Oxidative Stress, Antioxidants.
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