Common and novel markers for measuring inflammation and oxidative stress ex vivo in research and clinical practice—Which to use regarding disease outcomes?
Many chronic conditions such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity, peripheral/coronary artery disease and auto-immune diseases are associated with low-grade inflammation. Closely related to inflammation is oxidative stress (OS), which can be either causal or secondary to inflammation. While a low level of OS is physiological, chronically increased OS is deleterious. Therefore, valid biomarkers of these signalling pathways may enable detection and following progression of OS/inflammation as well as to evaluate treatment efficacy. Such biomarkers should be stable and obtainable through non-invasive methods and their determination should be affordable and easy. The most frequently used inflammatory markers include acute-phase proteins, essentially CRP, serum amyloid A, fibrinogen and procalcitonin, and cytokines, predominantly TNFalpha, interleukins 1beta, 6, 8, 10 and 12 and their receptors and IFNgamma. Some cytokines appear to be disease-specific. Conversely, OS-being ubiquitous-and its biomarkers appear less disease or tissue-specific. These include lipid peroxidation products, e.g., F2-isoprostanes and malondialdehyde, DNA breakdown products (e.g., 8-OH-dG), protein adducts (e.g., carbonylated proteins), or antioxidant status. More novel markers include also -omics related ones, as well as non-invasive, questionnaire-based measures, such as the dietary inflammatory-index (DII), but their link to biological responses may be variable. Nevertheless, many of these markers have been clearly related to a number of diseases. However, their use in clinical practice is often limited, due to lacking analytical or clinical validation, or technical challenges. In this review, we strive to highlight frequently employed and useful markers of inflammation-related OS, including novel promising markers.