Developmental regulation of antioxidant enzymes and their impact on neonatal lung disease

Sara K. Berkelhamer*, Kathryn N. Farrow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Significance: Deficient antioxidant defenses and compromised ability to respond to oxidative stress burden the immature lung. Routine neonatal therapies can cause increased oxidative stress with subsequent injury to the premature lung. Novel therapeutic approaches to protect the premature lung are greatly needed.

Recent Advances: Live cell imaging with targeted redox probes allows for the measurement of subcellular oxidative stress and for comparisons of oxidative stress across development. Comprehension of subcellular and cell-type-specific responses to oxidative stress may influence the targeting of future antioxidant therapies.

Critical Issues: Challenges remain in identifying the optimal cellular targets, degree of enzyme activity, and appropriate antioxidant therapy. Further, the efficacy of delivering exogenous antioxidants to specific cell types or subcellular compartments remains under investigation. Treatment with a nonselective antioxidant could unintentionally compromise cellular function or impact cellular defense mechanisms and homeostasis.

Future Directions: Genetic and/or biomarker screening may identify infants at the greatest risk for oxidative lung injury and guide the use of more selective antioxidant therapies. Novel approaches to the delivery of antioxidant enzymes may allow cell type- or cellular organelle-specific therapy. Improved comprehension of the antioxidant enzyme regulation across cell type, cell compartment, gender, and developmental stage is critical to the design and optimization of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1837-1848
Number of pages12
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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