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Lipid peroxidation is a well-defined mechanism of cellular damage in animals and plants. Lipid peroxides are unstable indicators of oxidative stress in cells that decompose to form more complex and reactive compounds such as Malondialdehyde (MDA) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), natural bi-products of lipid peroxidation. Oxidative modification of lipids can be induced in vitro by a wide array of pro-oxidant agents and occurs in vivo during aging and in certain disease conditions. Measuring the end products of lipid peroxidation is one of the most widely accepted assays for oxidative damage. These aldehydic secondary products of lipid peroxidation are generally accepted markers of oxidative stress.
Both MDA and HNE have been shown to be capable of binding to proteins and forming stable adducts, also termed advanced lipid peroxidation end products. These modifications of proteins by MDA or HNE can cause both structural and functional changes of oxidized proteins.
The MDS assay is a competitive enzyme immunoassay.