Reactive Oxygen Comes of Age: Mechanism-Based Therapy of Diabetic End-Organ Damage

Mahmoud H. Elbatreek, Mayra P. Pachado, Antonio Cuadrado, Karin Jandeleit-Dahm, Harald H.H.W. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been mainly viewed as unwanted by-products of cellular metabolism, oxidative stress, a sign of a cellular redox imbalance, and potential disease mechanisms, such as in diabetes mellitus (DM). Antioxidant therapies, however, have failed to provide clinical benefit. This paradox can be explained by recent discoveries that ROS have mainly essential signaling and metabolic functions and evolutionally conserved physiological enzymatic sources. Disease can occur when ROS accumulate in nonphysiological concentrations, locations, or forms. By focusing on disease-relevant sources and targets of ROS, and leaving ROS physiology intact, precise therapeutic interventions are now possible and are entering clinical trials. Their outcomes are likely to profoundly change our concepts of ROS in DM and in medicine in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-327
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • mechanism-based therapies
  • NADPH oxidases
  • network pharmacology
  • NRF2
  • ROS

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