Oxidative stress induced by the overproduction of free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been considered as a key pathogenic mechanism contributing to the initiation and progression of injury in liver diseases. Consequently, during the last few years antioxidant substances, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), resveratrol, colchicine, eugenol, and vitamins E and C have received increasing interest as potential therapeutic agents in chronic liver diseases. These substances have demonstrated their efficacy in equilibrating hepatic ROS metabolism and thereby improving liver functionality. However, many of these agents have not successfully passed the scrutiny of clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of various diseases, mainly due to their unspecificity and consequent uncontrolled side effects, since a minimal level of ROS is needed for normal functioning. Recently, cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2NPs) have emerged as a new powerful antioxidant agent with therapeutic properties in experimental liver disease. CeO2NPs have been reported to act as a ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) scavenger and to have multi-enzyme mimetic activity, including SOD activity (deprotionation of superoxide anion into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide), catalase activity (conversion of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water), and peroxidase activity (reducing hydrogen peroxide into hydroxyl radicals). Consequently, the beneficial effects of CeO2NPs treatment have been reported in many different medical fields other than hepatology, including neurology, ophthalmology, cardiology, and oncology. Unlike other antioxidants, CeO2NPs are only active at pathogenic levels of ROS, being inert and innocuous in healthy cells. In the current article, we review the potential of CeO2NPs in several experimental models of liver disease and their safety as a therapeutic agent in humans as well.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver regeneration; Nanoceria
Casals G, Perramón M, Casals E, Portolés I, Fernández-Varo G, Morales-Ruiz M, et al. Cerium oxide nanoparticles: A new therapeutic tool in liver diseases. Antioxidants. 2021 Apr 24;10(5):660.
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