Oxidative stress in ulcerative colitis: an old concept but a new concern

Free Radic Res. 2012 Nov;46(11):1339-45. doi: 10.3109/10715762.2012.717692. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Ulcerative colitis is an idiopathic, chronic and relapsing inflammatory bowel disease, which elicits the risk of colorectal cancer, the third most common malignancy in humans. It has been known for a long time that oxidative stress is a major pathogenic factor in the inflamed tissue that can pave the way towards DNA damage and carcinogenesis. However, the DNA damage produced due to oxidative stress in the inflamed tissue is not limited to the local site but extends globally, thereby augmenting the risk of global carcinogenesis. Targeting oxidative stress may provide an exciting avenue to combat inflammation-associated local as well as global DNA damage and the subsequent carcinogenesis. The present review portrays the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis and the associated local as well as global DNA damage, which may lead to carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA Damage
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*