Oxidative stress and its downstream signaling in aging eyes

Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Apr 11;9:637-52. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S52662. eCollection 2014.


Background: Oxidative stress (OS) and its biomarkers are the biochemical end point of the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the ability of the antioxidant (AOX) biological systems to fight against oxidative injury.

Objective: We reviewed the role of OS and its downstream signaling in aging eyes.

Methods: A search of the literature and current knowledge on the physiological and pathological mechanisms of OS were revisited in relation to the eyes and the aging process. Most prevalent ocular diseases have been analyzed herein in relation to OS and nutraceutic supplements, such as dry-eye disorders, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

Results: Clinical, biochemical, and molecular data from anterior and posterior eye segment diseases point to OS as the common pathogenic mechanism in the majority of these ocular disorders, many of which are pathologies causing visual impairment, blindness, and subsequent loss of life quality. Studies with nutraceutic supplements in aging eye-related pathologies have also been reviewed.

Conclusion: OS, nutritional status, and nutraceutic supplements have to be considered within the standards of care of older ophthalmologic patients. OS biomarkers and surrogate end points may help in managing the aging population with ocular diseases.

Keywords: aging; antioxidants; epidemiology; eyes; ophthalmic diseases; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / metabolism
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Eye / metabolism*
  • Glaucoma / metabolism
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology