The molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis and its role in cardiovascular disease

Biomed Pharmacother. 2022 Jan;145:112423. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112423. Epub 2021 Nov 17.


Ferroptosis is a programmed iron-dependent cell death characterized by accumulation of lipid peroxides (LOOH) and redox disequilibrium. Ferroptosis shows unique characteristics in biology, chemistry, and gene levels, compared to other cell death forms. The metabolic disorder of intracellular LOOH catalyzed by iron causes the inactivity of GPX4, disrupts the redox balance, and triggers cell death. Metabolism of amino acid, iron, and lipid, including associated pathways, is considered as a specific hallmark of ferroptosis. Epidemiological studies and animal experiments have shown that ferroptosis plays an important character in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction (MI), ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), heart failure (HF), cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This review systematically summarized the latest research progress on the mechanisms of ferroptosis. Then we report the contribution of ferroptosis in cardiovascular diseases. Finally, we discuss and analyze the therapeutic approaches targeting for ferroptosis associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; Ferroptosis; GPX4; Iron; Lipid peroxidation.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Ferroptosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Lipid Peroxides