Molecular mechanisms of acrolein toxicity: Relevance to human disease

Akshata Moghe, Smita Ghare, Bryan Lamoreau, Mohammad Mohammad, Shirish Barve, Craig McClain, Swati Joshi-Barve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

340 Scopus citations


Acrolein, a highly reactive unsaturated aldehyde, is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and its potential as a serious environmental health threat is beginning to be recognized. Humans are exposed to acrolein per oral (food and water), respiratory (cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, and biocide use) and dermal routes, in addition to endogenous generation (metabolismand lipid peroxidation). Acrolein has been suggested to play a role in several disease states including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and neuro-, hepato-, and nephro-toxicity. On the cellular level, acrolein exposure has diverse toxic effects, including DNA and protein adduction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial disruption, membrane damage, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and immune dysfunction. This review addresses our current understanding of each pathogenic mechanism of acrolein toxicity, with emphasis on the known and anticipated contribution to clinical disease, and potential therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-255
Number of pages14
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Antioxidants
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA adducts
  • Environmental
  • Exposure
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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