Role of Free Radicals in Lung Injury

Chest. 1986 Jun;89(6):859-63. doi: 10.1378/chest.89.6.859.


Free radicals (and other toxic metabolites of oxygen) are generated in most cells as a consequence of normal metabolic processes, but cells are protected from injury by antioxidant mechanisms. Several forms of lung injury appear to result from generation of toxic metabolites of oxygen in quantities which exceed the antioxidant capacity of lung cells. Several manipulations which prevent free radical production or accumulation or enhance antioxidant capacity of lung tissue may prove to be useful therapeutically in acute and chronic diseases of the lungs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult / etiology


  • Free Radicals
  • Oxygen