Oxidants and antioxidants in sulfur mustard-induced injury

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Aug;1203:92-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05605.x.

Abstract

Sulfur mustard (SM) is a chemical weapon that targets the skin, eyes, and lung. It was first employed during World War I and it remains a significant military and civilian threat. As a bifunctional alkylating agent, SM reacts with a variety of macromolecules in target tissues including nucleic acids, proteins and lipids, as well as small molecular weight metabolites such as glutathione. By alkylating subcellular components, SM disrupts metabolism, a process that can lead to oxidative stress. Evidence for oxidative stress in tissues exposed to SM or its analogs include increased formation of reactive oxygen species, the presence of lipid peroxidation products and oxidized proteins, and increases in antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione-S-transferase. Inhibition of antioxidant enzymes including thioredoxin reductase by SM can also disrupt cellular redox homeostasis. Consistent with these findings, SM-induced toxicity has been shown to be reduced by antioxidants in both in vitro and in vivo models. These data indicate that drugs that target oxidative stress pathways may represent important candidates for reducing SM-induced tissue injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung Injury / chemically induced*
  • Lung Injury / drug therapy
  • Lung Injury / metabolism*
  • Mustard Gas / chemistry
  • Mustard Gas / toxicity*
  • Oxidants / chemistry
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology

Substances

  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidants
  • Mustard Gas