Tissue oxidative stress is a common hallmark of atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), 2 conditions linked epidemiologically and pathophysiologically. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is the master regulator of inducible antioxidant responses, that can attenuate cellular injury from oxidative stress induced by obesity and other redox insults. Nrf2 expression and activation is reduced in mouse and human vessels that harbor accelerated atherosclerosis and in livers with histologic criteria of NASH. Systemic antioxidants have thus been attractive therapeutic targets, but clinical trials have been largely unsuccessful in improving cardiovascular health. Macrophage-selective Nrf2 activation may, however, provide an approach to reduce vascular and hepatocyte injury without the complications of systemic antioxidants, since macrophages play key roles in the development and progression of both atherosclerosis and NASH. In this article, we review the common mechanisms of oxidative stress and inflammation in atherosclerosis and NASH, and discuss the role of Nrf2 in vascular and hepatocyte protection.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism