Regulation of endothelial barrier function by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

Adel Boueiz, Paul M. Hassoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), by activated neutrophils and endothelial cells, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of endothelial barrier dysfunction. Disruption of the integrity of this barrier markedly increases permeability to fluids, solutes and inflammatory cells and is the hallmark of many disorders such as acute lung injury (ALI) and sepsis. There has been considerable progress in our understanding of the sequence of molecular and structural events that mediate the response of endothelial cells to oxidants and nitrosants. In addition, substantial experimental evidence demonstrates improvement of endothelial barrier dysfunction with antioxidant strategies. However, no significant benefits have been observed, so far, in clinical trials of antioxidants for the treatment of endothelial barrier dysfunction. This article will review the available evidence implicating ROS and RNS in endothelial barrier dysfunction, explore potential underlying mechanisms, and identify areas of further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Endothelial barrier function
  • Endothelial permeability
  • Leukocyte transmigration
  • Nitrosative stress
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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