Rodrigo Franco and Marcelo R. Vargas
Reduction oxidation (redox) reactions are central to life and when altered, they can promote disease progression. In the brain, redox homeostasis is recognized to be involved in all aspects of central nervous system (CNS) development, function, aging, and disease. Recent studies have uncovered the diverse nature by which redox reactions and homeostasis contribute to brain physiology, and when dysregulated to pathological consequences. Redox reactions go beyond what is commonly described as oxidative stress and involve redox mechanisms linked to signaling and metabolism. In contrast to the nonspecific nature of oxidative damage, redox signaling involves specific oxidation/reduction reactions that regulate a myriad of neurological processes such as neurotransmission, homeostasis, and degeneration. This Forum is focused on the role of redox metabolism and signaling in the brain. Six review articles from leading scientists in the field that appraise the role of redox metabolism and signaling in different aspects of brain biology including neurodevelopment, neurotransmission, aging, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and neurotoxicity are included. An original research article exemplifying these concepts uncovers a novel link between oxidative modifications, redox signaling, and neurodegeneration. This Forum highlights the recent advances in the field and we hope it encourages future research aimed to understand the mechanisms by which redox metabolism and signaling regulate CNS phys- iology and pathophysiology.