The implications of oxidative stress and antioxidant therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Clinical aspects and animal models

Saudi J Gastroenterol. Jan-Feb 2016;22(1):3-17. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.173753.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a chronic inflammatory disorder characterized by alternating phases of clinical relapse and remission. The etiology of IBD remains largely unknown, although a combination of patient's immune response, genetics, microbiome, and environment plays an important role in disturbing intestinal homeostasis, leading to development and perpetuation of the inflammatory cascade in IBD. As chronic intestinal inflammation is associated with the formation of reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), oxidative and nitrosative stress has been proposed as one of the major contributing factor in the IBD development. Substantial evidence suggests that IBD is associated with an imbalance between increased ROS and decreased antioxidant activity, which may explain, at least in part, many of the clinical pathophysiological features of both CD and UC patients. Hereby, we review the presently known oxidant and antioxidant mechanisms involved in IBD-specific events, the animal models used to determine these specific features, and also the antioxidant therapies proposed in IBD patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species