The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a disease process that is characterized by diffuse inflammation in the lung parenchyma and resultant permeability edema. The involvement of inflammatory mediators in ARDS has been the subject of intense investigation, and oxidant-mediated tissue injury is likely to be important in the pathogenesis of ARDS. In response to various inflammatory stimuli, lung endothelial cells, alveolar cells, and airway epithelial cells, as well as alveolar macrophages, produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). In addition, the therapeutic administration of oxygen can enhance the production of these toxic species. As the antioxidant defense system, various enzymes and low-molecular weight scavengers are present in the lung tissue and epithelial lining fluid. In addition to their contribution to tissue damage, ROS and RNS serve as signaling molecules for the evolution and perpetuation of the inflammatory process, which involves genetic regulation. The pattern of gene expression mediated by oxidant-sensitive transcription factors is a crucial component of the machinery that determines cellular responses to oxidative stress. This review summarizes the recent progress concerning how redox status can be modulated and how it regulates gene transcription during the development of ARDS, as well as the therapeutic implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas