Modulation of the antioxidant defence as a factor in apoptosis

M. M. Briehl, A. F. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This review focuses on evidence that oxidative stress during apoptosis is controlled, at least in part, by modulating cellular antioxidant defences. Evidence is presented from studies of apoptosis induced by glucocorticoids, HIV-1 infection and tumour necrosis factor-α. Glucocorticoid treatment of murine lymphocyte cell lines leads to the down-regulation of primary antioxidant defence enzymes, including catalase, superoxide dismutases, thioredoxin and DT-diaphorase. Following HIV-1 infection, disturbances in glutathione metabolism are seen, and decreased antioxidant enzyme activities have been reported for HIV-1-infected cell lines. The viral protein Tat may mediate these effects. Cellular resistance to apoptosis induced by tumour necrosis factor-α is modulated by the expression of manganese superoxide dismutase or Bcl-2. The loss of antioxidant defences is predicted to lead to oxidative stress, which could contribute to the mechanism of apoptosis through an effect on redox-sensitive transcription factors, calcium homeostasis or cysteine proteases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalCell Death and Differentation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Glucocorticoids
  • HIV
  • Lymphocytes
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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