Extracellular superoxide dismutase in pulmonary fibrosis

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2008 Feb;10(2):343-54. doi: 10.1089/ars.2007.1908.


Disruption of the oxidant/antioxidant balance in the lung is thought to be a key step in the development of many airway pathologies. Hence, antioxidant enzymes play key roles in controlling or preventing pulmonary diseases related to oxidative stress. The superoxide dismutases (SOD) are a family of enzymes that play a pivotal role protecting tissues from damage by oxidant stress by scavenging superoxide anion, which prevents the formation of other more potent oxidants such as peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radical. Extracellular SOD (EC-SOD) is found predominantly in the extracellular matrix of tissues and is ideally situated to prevent cell and tissue damage initiated by extracellularly produced ROS. EC-SOD has been shown to be protective in several models of interstitial lung disease, including pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, alterations in EC-SOD expression are also present in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This review discusses EC-SOD regulation in response to pulmonary fibrosis in animals and humans and reviews possible mechanisms by which EC-SOD may protect against fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Asbestos / toxicity
  • Bleomycin / toxicity
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Matrix / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / chemically induced
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / enzymology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Bleomycin
  • Asbestos
  • Superoxide Dismutase