Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Antioxid Redox Signal. 2008 Feb;10(2):321-32.

Oxidative stress and antioxidants in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis: a potential role for Nrf2.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Respiratory Biology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic progressive disorder in which excessive deposition of extracellular matrix leads to irreversible scarring of interstitial lung tissue. The etiology of IPF remains unknown, but growing evidence suggests that disequilibrium in oxidant/antioxidant balance contributes significantly. IPF is currently regarded as a fibroproliferative disorder triggered by repeated alveolar epithelial cell injury. Oxidative stress plays a role in many processes involved in alveolar epithelial cell injury and fibrogenesis. Here we review the role of oxidative stress in IPF, and other forms of pulmonary fibrosis, with particular attention to antioxidant defenses regulated by the redox-sensitive transcription factor nuclear factor, erythroid derived 2, like (Nrf2). Nrf2 binds specific antioxidant response elements (AREs) in the promoter of antioxidant enzyme and defense protein genes and regulates their expression in many tissue types. Nrf2 protects from several phenotypes in which enhanced oxidative burden contributes to disease pathogenesis, including cancer, acute lung injury, and pulmonary fibrosis. We suggest that promoter polymorphisms in human NRF2 may contribute to IPF susceptibility, although this hypothesis has not been tested. Pulmonary fibrosis is a highly complex disease and involves multiple genes and processes, and new therapies for cellular and molecular targets involved in pathogenic mechanisms are needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk