Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 6006–6017 | Cite as

Nrf2—a Promising Therapeutic Target for Defensing Against Oxidative Stress in Stroke

  • Rongrong Zhang
  • Mengxue Xu
  • Yu Wang
  • Fei Xie
  • Gang Zhang
  • Xinyue QinEmail author


Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Oxidative stress, which refers to an excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), plays a key role in the pathological process of stroke. Excessive ROS production contributes to brain ischemia/reperfusion injury through many mechanisms including BBB disruption, inflammation, apoptosis, and cellular necrosis. Nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is one of the critical regulators of endogenous antioxidant defense, which promote the transcription of a wide variety of antioxidant genes. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that activation of Nrf2 and its target genes may protect the brain against ischemia/reperfusion injury, and therapies aimed at increasing Nrf2 activity appear to be beneficial to alleviate brain injury in stroke through the suppression of oxidative stress. The main purpose of this review is to discuss the current evidence for the role of Nrf2 in stroke and the potential interventions to enhance Nrf2 activation to attenuate stroke-induced injury.


Nrf2 Reactive oxygen species Antioxidants Stroke 



This work was supported by National Key Clinical Specialties Construction Program of China.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rongrong Zhang
    • 1
  • Mengxue Xu
    • 2
  • Yu Wang
    • 1
  • Fei Xie
    • 1
  • Gang Zhang
    • 1
  • Xinyue Qin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyThe Ninth People’s Hospital of ChongqingChongqingChina

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