Other Potential Biomarkers of Cellular Oxidative Stress in Dogs

Hemopet’s CellBIO assay quantitates the isoprostane level in dog saliva to determine if the pet’s body is undergoing harmful cellular oxidative stress. Cellular oxidative stress creates reactive oxygen species (ROS) causing cells to undergo damage and release biomarker lipids and enzymes that lead to tissue inflammation, infections, obesity and even cancers.  This is known as dysbiosis.

Healthy cells, in contrast, are in symbiosis (harmony) within the body and are maintained in this state primarily by the presence of a healthy, balanced microbiome. The microbiome organisms (microbiota) reside in the gut (bowel) and are the most diverse and abundant, and so we need to focus on the health benefits of the microbiome.

Observable benefits include lessening in the severity of eczema and other skin disorders, improved protein digestion (measurable by absent or reduced intestinal gas) in young human and animal athletes that consume protein-rich diets, and the alleviation of constipation in senior people and aging pets. These benefits improve the quality of life across all life stages.

By contrast, dysbiosis creates an unhealthy gut barrier that can trigger cellular inflammation – which is directly related to imbalances in the important neurotransmitters of the gut-brain axis. This in turn contributes to the cognitive and memory decline associated with aging and even to more serious issues such as depression in people and pets.

The good news about this give-and-take balance of microbiota is that balancing the gut microbiome in a healthy manner with selected nutrients and supplements can help counteract this cellular oxidative stress and ROS production. One proven way this can be accomplished is with so-called functional foods that activate the body’s critical Nrf-2 pathway: e.g. turmeric, chili pepper, ginger, green tea, soybeans, tomatoes, berries, raw honey (not for the very young), garlic in moderation, coconut, cabbages, and broccoli.  The newly coined term for these foods is Bioceuticals, a holistic approach to improving cognitive health and longevity.

Other Potential Biomarkers of Cellular Oxidative Stress in Dogs

Mitochondria are present within all cells and are the major producer of cellular free radicals and a major target of oxidative damage.   Mitochondrial damage can be reduced by supplements such as: Vitamins C and E, Co-Enzyme Q-10, Quercetin, Alpha-lipoic acid, N-Acetylcysteine, carotenoids (beta- carotene, lutein, lycopene), L-carnitine, pigmented flavonoids (green tea, resveratrol in berries), selenium, and gingko biloba.

  • Nrf2 Pathway is a master regulator of antioxidant production and cellular protection. It can be measured by Whole Blood Glutathione (GSH) and Serum Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) levels, and is activated by functional foods (listed above).
  • Serum Malondialdehyde (MDA) measures oxidative damage. Has limited utility in diagnostic testing.
  • TNF-Alpha is a primary mediator of inflammatory responses. A non-specific test for cellular stress
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is made by the liver; blood levels increase when there is inflammation in the body due to acute and chronic conditions. A non-specific diagnostic test for cellular stress.
  • MicroRNA functions in mammals in gene regulation. Dysregulation of microRNA has been associated with inherited and other diseases including cancers.   Measurements involve RNA sequencing or ‘heat map’ microarray technology which is impractical for routine diagnostic use in veterinary medicine (costly).
  • P53 Cancer Biomarker is a protein important for regulation and progression of the cell cycle, apoptosis (cell death), and genomic stability. Levels of p53 play an important role in the maintenance of stem cells throughout development and the rest of mammalian life. It has a tissue-level anticancer effect that works by inhibiting angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation). It is measured by DNA cell sequencing technology, so is unavailable for routine patient diagnostic use.


Dodds, WJ. Cellular oxidative stress and chronic inflammatory disease results in obesity, infections and cancers, Parts 1 and 2. Proc. Am Hol Vet Med Assoc.  2016; 53-57; 58-63.

Dodds, WJ. and Callewaert, DM. Novel biomarkers of oxidative stress for veterinary medicine, Parts 1 and 2. Proc. Am Hol Vet Med Assoc.  2016; 64-70; 71-73.

Kangas K.  A review of oxidative stress and the Nrf2 pathway. J Am Hol Vet Med Assoc.2016, Fall issue; 44:8-13.

Mandelker, L. Chronic disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, and novel therapies, Parts 1-3.  J Am Hol Vet Med Assoc. 2015, Winter issue; 41:22-24; ibid, 2016, Spring issue; 42:36-39; ibid, 2016,  Summer issue; 43:35-38.

Scroll to Top