Role of the peroxynitrite-poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase pathway in human disease

Pal Pacher, Csaba Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


Throughout the last 2 decades, experimental evidence from in vitro studies and preclinical models of disease has demonstrated that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, including the reactive oxidant peroxynitrite, are generated in parenchymal, endothelial , and infiltrating inflammatory cells during stroke, myocardial and other forms of reperfusion injury, myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure, cardiomyopathies, circulatory shock, cardiovascular aging, atherosclerosis and vascular remodeling after injury, diabetic complications, and neurodegenerative disorders. Peroxynitrite and other reactive species induce oxidative DNA damage and consequent activation of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1), the most abundant isoform of the PARP enzyme family. PARP overactivation depletes its substrate NAD+, slowing the rate of glycolysis, electron transport, and ATP formation, eventually leading to functional impairment or death of cells, as well as up-regulation of various proinflammatory pathways. In related animal models of disease, peroxynitrite neutralization or pharmacological inhibition of PARP provides significant therapeutic benefits. Therefore, novel antioxidants and PARP inhibitors have entered clinical development for the experimental therapy of various cardiovascular and other diseases. This review focuses on the human data available on the pathophysiological relevance of the peroxynitrite-PARP pathway in a wide range of disparate diseases, ranging from myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, myocarditis, heart failure, circulatory shock, and diabetic complications to atherosclerosis, arthritis, colitis, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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