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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8651820, 7 pages
Review Article

“Cumulative Stress”: The Effects of Maternal and Neonatal Oxidative Stress and Oxidative Stress-Inducible Genes on Programming of Atopy

1Unit of Pediatric Genetics and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy
2Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy

Received 25 January 2016; Revised 27 May 2016; Accepted 22 June 2016

Academic Editor: Daniela Giustarini

Copyright © 2016 Sara Manti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although extensive epidemiological and laboratory studies have been performed to identify the environmental and immunological causes of atopy, genetic predisposition seems to be the biggest risk factor for allergic diseases. The onset of atopic diseases may be the result of heritable changes of gene expression, without any alteration in DNA sequences occurring in response to early environmental stimuli. Findings suggest that the establishment of a peculiar epigenetic pattern may also be generated by oxidative stress (OS) and perpetuated by the activation of OS-related genes. Analyzing the role of maternal and neonatal oxidative stress and oxidative stress-inducible genes, the purpose of this review was to summarize what is known about the relationship between maternal and neonatal OS-related genes and the development of atopic diseases.