Kidney Res Clin Pract.  2019 Dec;38(4):414-426. 10.23876/j.krcp.19.063.

The role of oxidative stress and hypoxia in renal disease

  • 1Division of Nephrology and Endocrinology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Oxygen is required to sustain aerobic organisms. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are constantly released during mitochondrial oxygen consumption for energy production. Any imbalance between ROS production and its scavenger system induces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress, a critical contributor to tissue damage, is well-known to be associated with various diseases. The kidney is susceptible to hypoxia, and renal hypoxia is a common final pathway to end stage kidney disease, regardless of the underlying cause. Renal hypoxia aggravates oxidative stress, and elevated oxidative stress, in turn, exacerbates renal hypoxia. Oxidative stress is also enhanced in chronic kidney disease, especially diabetic kidney disease, through various mechanisms. Thus, the vicious cycle between oxidative stress and renal hypoxia critically contributes to the progression of renal injury. This review examines recent evidence connecting chronic hypoxia and oxidative stress in renal disease and subsequently describes several promising therapeutic approaches against oxidative stress.


Hypoxia; Hypoxia-inducible factor; Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2; Oxidative stress; Renal insufficiency, chronic

MeSH Terms

Diabetic Nephropathies
Kidney Failure, Chronic
Oxidative Stress*
Oxygen Consumption
Reactive Oxygen Species
Renal Insufficiency, Chronic
Reactive Oxygen Species
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