Pharmacological models and approaches for pathophysiological conditions associated with hypoxia and oxidative stress

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Hypoxia is the failure of oxygenation at the tissue level, where the reduced oxygen delivered is not enough to satisfy tissue demands. Metabolic depression is the physiological adaptation associated with reduced oxygen consumption, which evidently does not cause any harm to organs that are exposed to acute and short hypoxic insults. Oxidative stress (OS) refers to the imbalance between the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the ability of endogenous antioxidant systems to scavenge ROS, where ROS overwhelms the antioxidant capacity. Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of diseases related to hypoxia during intrauterine development and postnatal life. Thus, excessive ROS are implicated in the irreversible damage to cell membranes, DNA, and other cellular structures by oxidizing lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Here, we describe several pathophysiological conditions and in vivo and ex vivo models developed for the study of hypoxic and oxidative stress injury. We reviewed existing literature on the responses to hypoxia and oxidative stress of the cardiovascular, renal, reproductive, and central nervous systems, and discussed paradigms of chronic and intermittent hypobaric hypoxia. This systematic review is a critical analysis of the advantages in the application of some experimental strategies and their contributions leading to novel pharmacological therapies.

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