Significance: Abnormal lung development in the perinatal period can result in severe neonatal complications, including persistent pulmonary hypertension (PH) of the newborn and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a substantive role in the development of PH associated with these diseases. ROS impair the normal pulmonary artery (PA) relaxation in response to vasodilators, and ROS are also implicated in pulmonary arterial remodeling, both of which can increase the severity of PH.
Recent Advances: PA ROS levels are elevated when endogenous ROS-generating enzymes are activated and/or when endogenous ROS scavengers are inactivated. Animal models have provided valuable insights into ROS generators and scavengers that are dysregulated in different forms of neonatal PH, thus identifying potential therapeutic targets.
Critical Issues: General antioxidant therapy has proved ineffective in reversing PH, suggesting that it is necessary to target specific signaling pathways for successful therapy.
Future Directions: Development of novel selective pharmacologic inhibitors along with nonantioxidant therapies may improve the treatment outcomes of patients with PH, while further investigation of the underlying mechanisms may enable earlier detection of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry