9. Oxidative Stress and Vascular Inflammation

  1. Gary S. Hoffman MD, MS2,
  2. Cornelia M. Weyand MD, PhD3,
  3. Carol A. Langford MD, MHS2 and
  4. Jörg J. Goronzy MD, PhD3
  1. David G. Harrison MD

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118355244.ch9

Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition

Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition

How to Cite

Harrison, D. G. (2012) Oxidative Stress and Vascular Inflammation, in Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition (eds G. S. Hoffman, C. M. Weyand, C. A. Langford and J. J. Goronzy), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118355244.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases, Center for Vasculitis Care and Research, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 8 JUN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444338225

Online ISBN: 9781118355244



  • Superoxide;
  • hydrogen peroxide;
  • reactive oxygen species;
  • NADPH oxidase;
  • macrophages;
  • T cells;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • diabetes;
  • obesity;
  • antioxidant vitamins;
  • interleukin-17;
  • interleukin-6;
  • tumor necrosis factor α


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced by numerous enzymatic sources in mammalian cells, including the NADPH oxidases, the mitochondria, xanthine oxidase and uncoupled nitric oxide synthases. The vascular production of ROS by these enzymes is increased by various pathological stimuli, including angiotensin II, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, excessive mechanical stretch, ischemia/reperfusion and others. ROS seem to contribute to the diseases caused by these stimuli, including atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes. Importantly, ROS also have important signaling functions in normal cells. There is substantial interaction between oxidation and inflammation. Oxidative events promote expression of pro-inflammatory genes such as adhesion molecules, chemokines and cytokines that promote infiltration of leukocytes and further ROS production. Despite the well-documented role of ROS in vascular disease, antioxidants are have not proven helpful in the treatment of patients with atherosclerosis, hypertension or diabetes and in some cases have caused harm. Future studies should attempt to modulate ROS production without removing beneficial effects of ROS and should address the role of inflammation in cardiovascular diseases.