Molecular mechanisms of hypertension—reactive oxygen species and antioxidants: a basic science update for the clinician

Montezano, A.C. and Touyz, R.M. (2012) Molecular mechanisms of hypertension—reactive oxygen species and antioxidants: a basic science update for the clinician. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 28(3), pp. 288-295. (doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2012.01.017)

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Many factors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of hypertension such as upregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, activation of the sympathetic nervous system, perturbed G protein-coupled receptor signalling, inflammation, and altered T-cell function. Common to these processes is increased bioavailability of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (termed oxidative stress) due to excess ROS generation, decreased nitric oxide (NO) levels, and reduced antioxidant capacity in the cardiovascular, renal, and nervous systems. Although oxidative stress may not be the sole etiology of hypertension, it amplifies blood pressure elevation in the presence of other prohypertensive factors. In the cardiovascular system ROS play a physiological role in controlling endothelial function, vascular tone, and cardiac function, and a pathophysiological role in inflammation, hypertrophy, proliferation, apoptosis, migration, fibrosis, angiogenesis, and rarefaction, all of which are important processes contributing to endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular remodelling in hypertension. A major source for cardiovascular ROS is a family of nonphagocytic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases (Nox1, Nox2, Nox4, and Nox5). Other sources include mitochondrial enzymes, xanthine oxidase, and uncoupled NO synthase (NOS). Although convincing data from animal studies support a causative role for oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of hypertension, there is still no solid evidence that oxidative stress causes hypertension in humans. However, biomarkers of excess ROS are increased in patients with hypertension and oxidative damage is important in the molecular mechanisms associated with cardiovascular and renal injury in hypertension. Although clinical trials failed to show beneficial antihypertensive effects of antioxidants, strategies that combat oxidative stress by targeting Noxs in an isoform-specific manner may have therapeutic potential.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Montezano, Dr Augusto and Touyz, Professor Rhian
Authors: Montezano, A.C., and Touyz, R.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:Canadian Journal of Cardiology
ISSN (Online):1916-7075

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