Nrf2 as molecular target for polyphenols: A novel therapeutic strategy in diabetic retinopathy

Seyed Fazel Nabavi, Alistair J. Barber, Carmela Spagnuolo, Gian Luigi Russo, Maria Daglia, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi, Eduardo Sobarzo-Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Abstract: Diabetic retinopathy is a microvascular complication of diabetes that is considered one of the leading causes of blindness among adults. More than 4.4 million people suffer from this disorder throughout the world. Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a redox sensitive transcription factor, plays an essential protective role in regulating the physiological response to oxidative and electrophilic stress via regulation of multiple genes encoding antioxidant proteins and phase II detoxifying enzymes. Many studies suggest that dozens of natural compounds, including polyphenols, can supress oxidative stress and inflammation through targeting Nrf2 and consequently activating the antioxidant response element-related cytoprotective genes. Therefore, Nrf2 may provide a new therapeutic target for treatment of diabetic retinopathy. In the present article, we will focus on the role of Nrf2 in diabetic retinopathy and the ability of polyphenols to target Nrf2 as a therapeutic strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-312
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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