Chronic kidney disease is a worldwide public health problem that affects approximately 10% of the US adult population and is associated with a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and high economic cost. Chronic renal insufficiency, once established, tends to progress to end-stage kidney disease, suggesting some common mechanisms for ultimately causing scarring and further nephron loss. This review defines the term reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM), or oxidants, and presents the available experimental evidence in support of the role of oxidants in diabetic and nondiabetic glomerular disease and their role in tubulointerstitial damage that accompanies progression. It concludes by reviewing the limited human data that provide some proof of concept that the observations in experimental models may be relevant to human disease. Copyright © 2007 by the American Society of Nephrology.
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