Oxidative cell damage is a natural occurring phenomenon due to the aerobic conditions where cells are embedded; however, such injury can efficiently be controlled and repaired by the inherent antioxidants of the cell. When the oxidant/antioxidant balance is disrupted towards the former by any chemical, biological or physical insult a pathological state could be developed, therefore, an extensive list of compounds with proved or assumed antioxidants properties has largely been used for improving or restoring the health status. Pharmacological therapies as well as dietary or complementary therapies are continuously being investigated for the counteracting of the harmful or damaging effects of oxidation in cells or tissues. However, critical antioxidant levels are not always achieved at the target damaged cells by these approaches; on the other side, the expression of recombinant antioxidant genes specifically directed to the afflicted cell by gene delivery has shown remarkable results. In this review we summarize the literature focused on some of the current antioxidant molecular pharmacological strategies with particular emphasis to the gene transfer protocols involved in the treatment of oxidative stress-related disorders.
Keywords: Oxidative stress, antioxidants, gene therapy, gene transfer techniques, superoxide dismutase, heme oxygenase, glutathione, catalase
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