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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 8327410, 15 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress in the Healthy and Wounded Hepatocyte: A Cellular Organelles Perspective

1Department of Biomedical Clinical and Experimental Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
2Careggi University Hospital, 50134 Florence, Italy

Received 25 July 2015; Accepted 10 September 2015

Academic Editor: Pablo Muriel

Copyright © 2016 Tommaso Mello 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.


Accurate control of the cell redox state is mandatory for maintaining the structural integrity and physiological functions. This control is achieved both by a fine-tuned balance between prooxidant and anti-oxidant molecules and by spatial and temporal confinement of the oxidative species. The diverse cellular compartments each, although structurally and functionally related, actively maintain their own redox balance, which is necessary to fulfill specialized tasks. Many fundamental cellular processes such as insulin signaling, cell proliferation and differentiation and cell migration and adhesion, rely on localized changes in the redox state of signal transducers, which is mainly mediated by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Therefore, oxidative stress can also occur long before direct structural damage to cellular components, by disruption of the redox circuits that regulate the cellular organelles homeostasis. The hepatocyte is a systemic hub integrating the whole body metabolic demand, iron homeostasis and detoxification processes, all of which are redox-regulated processes. Imbalance of the hepatocyte’s organelles redox homeostasis underlies virtually any liver disease and is a field of intense research activity. This review recapitulates the evolving concept of oxidative stress in the diverse cellular compartments, highlighting the principle mechanisms of oxidative stress occurring in the healthy and wounded hepatocyte.