NADPH-oxidase (NOX) mediated superoxide originally found on leukocytes, but now recognized in several types of cells in the brain. It has been shown to play an important role in the progression of stroke and related cerebrovascular disease. NOX is a multisubunit complex consisting of 2 membrane-associated and 4 cytosolic subunits. NOX activation occurs when cytosolic subunits translocate to the membrane, leading to transport electrons to oxygen, thus producing superoxide. Superoxide produced by NOX is thought to function in long-term potentiation and intercellular signaling, but excessive production is damaging and has been implicated to play an important role in the progression of ischemic brain. Thus, inhibition of NOX activity may prove to be a promising treatment for ischemic brain as well as an adjunctive agent to prevent its secondary complications. There is mounting evidence that NOX inhibition in the ischemic brain is neuroprotective, and targeting NOX in circulating immune cells will also improve outcome. This review will focus on therapeutic effects of NOX assembly inhibitors in brain ischemia and stroke. However, the lack of specificity and toxicities of existing inhibitors are clear hurdles that will need to be overcome before this class of compounds could be translated clinically.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience