Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in diabetic neuropathy: futuristic strategies based on these targets

Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:674987. doi: 10.1155/2014/674987. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


In Diabetes, the chronic hyperglycemia and associated complications affecting peripheral nerves are one of the most commonly occurring microvascular complications with an overall prevalence of 50-60%. Among the vascular complications of diabetes, diabetic neuropathy is the most painful and disabling, fatal complication affecting the quality of life in patients. Several theories of etiologies surfaced down the lane, amongst which the oxidative stress mediated damage in neurons and surrounding glial cell has gained attention as one of the vital mechanisms in the pathogenesis of neuropathy. Mitochondria induced ROS and other oxidants are responsible for altering the balance between oxidants and innate antioxidant defence of the body. Oxidative-nitrosative stress not only activates the major pathways namely, polyol pathway flux, advanced glycation end products formation, activation of protein kinase C, and overactivity of the hexosamine pathway, but also initiates and amplifies neuroinflammation. The cross talk between oxidative stress and inflammation is due to the activation of NF- κ B and AP-1 and inhibition of Nrf2, peroxynitrite mediate endothelial dysfunction, altered NO levels, and macrophage migration. These all culminate in the production of proinflammatory cytokines which are responsible for nerve tissue damage and debilitating neuropathies. This review focuses on the relationship between oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Review