Indexed on: 15 Jun '14Published on: 15 Jun '14Published in: Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Asthma is characterized by repeated episodes of airway obstruction and an ongoing cycle of airway inflammation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by inflammatory cells in the lung play a key role in the pathogenesis as well as amplification of inflammation in asthmatic airways. Several enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants are available in the lung and systemic circulation to counteract ROS-mediated damage on various biomolecules such as lipid membranes, proteins, and DNA; however during asthmatic inflammation these defenses are overwhelmed due to excessive production of ROS thereby leading to inflammatory events in the airways/systemic circulation. ROS-mediated damage may result in increased vascular permeability, mucus hypersecretion, smooth muscle contraction, epithelial shedding and impairment in the responsiveness of β-adrenergic receptors. Strategies aimed to boost the endogenous antioxidants either through dietary or pharmacological intervention to redress oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in asthma is the current area of research in many laboratories throughout the world. This review aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the available literature on oxidative stress and antioxidants imbalance in asthma with a focus both on lung and blood components and bring forth correlations between lung/blood oxidative stress/antioxidant parameters and lung function.