Maintenance of integrity and function of the gastric mucosa (GM) requires a high regeneration rate of epithelial cells during the whole life span. The health of the gastric epithelium highly depends on redox homeostasis, antioxidant defense, and activity of detoxifying systems within the cells, as well as robustness of blood supply. Bioactive products of lipid peroxidation, in particular, second messengers of free radicals, the bellwether of which is 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), are important mediators in physiological adaptive reactions and signaling, but they are also thought to be implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous gastric diseases. Molecular mechanisms and consequences of increased production of HNE, and its protein adducts, in response to stressors during acute and chronic gastric injury, are well studied. However, several important issues related to the role of HNE in gastric carcinogenesis, tumor growth and progression, the condition of GM after eradication of Helicobacter pylori
, or the relevance of antioxidants for HNE-related redox homeostasis in GM, still need more studies and new comprehensive approaches. In this regard, preclinical studies and clinical intervention trials are required, which should also include the use of state-of-the-art analytical techniques, such as HNE determination by immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), as well as modern mass-spectroscopy methods.
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