Oxidative & nitrosative stress in depression: why so much stress?

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Sep;45:46-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.05.007. Epub 2014 May 21.


Many studies support a crucial role for oxidative & nitrosative stress (O&NS) in the pathophysiology of unipolar and bipolar depression. These disorders are characterized inter alia by lowered antioxidant defenses, including: lower levels of zinc, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E and glutathione; increased lipid peroxidation; damage to proteins, DNA and mitochondria; secondary autoimmune responses directed against redox modified nitrosylated proteins and oxidative specific epitopes. This review examines and details a model through which a complex series of environmental factors and biological pathways contribute to increased redox signaling and consequently increased O&NS in mood disorders. This multi-step process highlights the potential for future interventions that encompass a diverse range of environmental and molecular targets in the treatment of depression.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Autoimmune; Bipolar disorder; Depression; Inflammation; Oxidative & nitrosative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / genetics
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*