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Therapeutic potential of superoxide dismutase (SOD) for resolution of inflammation


Neutrophils play essential roles in several inflammatory reactions. Oxidant/antioxidant imbalance is thought to be partially involved in the pathogenesis of the disorders. Under the conditions of oxidative stress, superoxide dismutase (SOD) acts as an endogenous cellular defense system to degrade superoxide (O 2 ) into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, SOD is potentially useful as a therapeutic agent for treatment of inflammatory disorders.

A further mechanism that may contribute to the efficacy of SOD is the regulation of neutrophil apoptosis. For the resolution of infl ammation, the activated neutrophils must be safely removed by apoptosis. Neutrophil apoptosis has been suggested as a possible target for the control of neutrophil-mediated tissue injury. Exogenously added SOD induces neutrophil apoptosis, and hydrogen peroxide has been suggested to be a possible major mediator of ROS-induced neutrophil apoptosis in a caspase-dependent manner. If the drug can be delivered efficiently to the inflammatory site, SOD may be useful as an inhibitory mediator of neutrophil-mediated inflammation.

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Correspondence to K. Yasui.

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Received 6 December 2005; returned for revision 15 February 2006; returned for final revision 23 March 2006; accepted by M. Katori 15 April 2006

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Yasui, K., Baba, A. Therapeutic potential of superoxide dismutase (SOD) for resolution of inflammation. Inflamm. res. 55, 359–363 (2006).

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Key words.

  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Neutrophils
  • Apoptosis
  • Resolution of inflammation