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Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 May 28:S0891-5849(21)00325-7. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2021.05.033. Online ahead of print.
PB125® is a phytochemical composition providing potent Nrf2 activation as well as a number of direct actions that do not involve Nrf2. Nrf2 is a transcription actor that helps maintain metabolic balance by providing redox-sensitive expression of numerous genes controlling normal day-to-day metabolic pathways. When ordinary metabolism is upset by extraordinary events such as injury, pathogenic infection, air or water pollution, ingestion of toxins, or simply by the slow but incessant changes brought about by aging and genetic variations, Nrf2 may also be called into action by the redox changes resulting from these events, whether acute or chronic. A complicating factor in all of this is that Nrf2 levels decline with aging, leaving the elderly less able to maintain proper redox balance. The dysregulated gene expression that results can cause or exacerbate a wide variety of pathological conditions, including susceptibility to viral infections. This review examines the characteristics desirable in Nrf2 activators that have therapeutic potential, as well as some of the patterns of dysregulated gene expression commonly observed during pulmonary infections and the normalizing effects possible by judicious use of phytochemicals to increase the activation level of available Nrf2.