Neurochemical Research

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Oxidative Mechanisms of Brain Dysfunction During Sepsis

  • Felipe Dal-Pizzol
  • Cristiane Ritter
  • Omar J. Cassol-Jr
  • Gislaine T. Rezin
  • Fabrícia Petronilho
  • Alexandra I. Zugno
  • João Quevedo
  • Emilio L. Streck


Oxidative stress has drawn a lot of attention in the past few decades, since it has been reported to participate in the mechanism of many diseases. Therefore, it seemed to be a good rationale to aim oxidative stress on therapeutic research. Sepsis is a complex systemic syndrome characterized by an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory responses to a pathogen; its pathophysiology is a dynamic process which involves components of the immune system, the coagulation pathway, parenchymal cells, and the endocrine and metabolic pathways. It is well characterized that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in sepsis development, but the relation between central nervous system dysfunction and oxidative stress during sepsis is not well understood. Thus, we here summarize the current knowledge on the role of free radicals in the development of brain dysfunction in sepsis focusing on oxidative damage and the redox control of brain inflammatory pathways.


Sepsis Oxidative stress Central nervous system Brain injury Redox signaling 



Activator protein-1


Antioxidant response element


Adenosine triphosphate






Cecal ligation and perforation


Central nervous system


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase


Electron transport chain


Hydrogen peroxide


NF-κB (IκB)-kinase




Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist








Inducible nitric oxide synthase


Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1


Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4


Jun N-terminal kinase




Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1


MAPK phosphatase-1


Matrix metalloproteinases


Messenger ribonucleic acid


Myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Nuclear factor kappa-B


Nitric oxide


Nitric oxide synthase


Nuclear factor-E2 related factor 2


Oxidative phosphorylation


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase


Protein kinase C


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Septic encephalopathy


Superoxide dismutase


Transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase


Toll-like receptors


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha


Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6


Xanthine oxidase



We would like to thank UNESC (Brazil), FAPESC (Brazil) and CNPq (Brazil) which supported the studies of our group that are cited in this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felipe Dal-Pizzol
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristiane Ritter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Omar J. Cassol-Jr
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gislaine T. Rezin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabrícia Petronilho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandra I. Zugno
    • 3
    • 2
  • João Quevedo
    • 3
    • 2
  • Emilio L. Streck
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratório de Fisiopatologia Experimental, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Unidade Acadêmica de Ciências da SaúdeUniversidade do Extremo Sul CatarinenseCriciúmaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia Translacional em MedicinaUniversidade do Extremo Sul CatarinenseCriciúmaBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Neurociências, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Unidade Acadêmica de Ciências da SaúdeUniversidade do Extremo Sul CatarinenseCriciúmaBrazil

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