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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6859523, 10 pages
Review Article

Mitochondrion-Permeable Antioxidants to Treat ROS-Burst-Mediated Acute Diseases

1College of Resources Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
2College of Bioindustry, Chengdu University, Chengdu 610106, China
3Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Chengdu 610071, China

Received 9 April 2015; Revised 9 July 2015; Accepted 14 July 2015

Academic Editor: Luciano Saso

Copyright © 2016 Zhong-Wei Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a crucial role in the inflammatory response and cytokine outbreak, such as during virus infections, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, antioxidant is an important medicine to ROS-related diseases. For example, ascorbic acid (vitamin C, VC) was suggested as the candidate antioxidant to treat multiple diseases. However, long-term use of high-dose VC causes many side effects. In this review, we compare and analyze all kinds of mitochondrion-permeable antioxidants, including edaravone, idebenone, α-Lipoic acid, carotenoids, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10, and mitochondria-targeted antioxidants MitoQ and SkQ and propose astaxanthin (a special carotenoid) to be the best antioxidant for ROS-burst-mediated acute diseases, like avian influenza infection and ischemia-reperfusion. Nevertheless, astaxanthins are so unstable that most of them are inactivated after oral administration. Therefore, astaxanthin injection is suggested hypothetically. The drawbacks of the antioxidants are also reviewed, which limit the use of antioxidants as coadjuvants in the treatment of ROS-associated disorders.