Oxygen radicals are mediators of tissue injury in a wide variety of pathophysiological conditions. These active oxygen metabolites can interact with cellular membrane structures, thereby inducing lipid peroxidation, which has been implicated as one of the major mechanisms of “oxidative stress” in tissue injury. This chapter presents evidence illustrating topographic correlation between oxidative changes and distribution of cell injury. It remains unclear whether in-site oxidant production may play a causal role in the same portion of cell injury, or whether malondialdehyde elevation or decrease in reduced glutathione contents in tissue may be merely a consequence of tissue injury that may result from oxidant-independent mechanisms. The chapter discusses current methodology to monitor visually spatial and temporal alterations of oxidative changes in addition to monitoring simultaneous cell function and viability in in vivo or ex vivo organ microcirculation. The chemiluminescence imaging method has several properties that prove useful for evaluation of oxidative stress in vivo: (1) the absence of an artificial photobleaching effect, (2) no need for excitation illumination, resulting in attenuation of cellular damages, and (3) the availability of different chemilumigenic probes, which makes it possible to pinpoint the active oxidants that are involved in different experimental models.
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