Preterm birth interrupts the development and maturation of the kidneys during the critical growth period. The kidneys can also exhibit structural defects and functional impairment due to hyperoxia, as demonstrated by various animal studies. Furthermore, hyperoxia during nephrogenesis impairs renal tubular development and induces glomerular and tubular injuries, which manifest as renal corpuscle enlargement, renal tubular necrosis, interstitial inflammation, and kidney fibrosis. Preterm birth along with hyperoxia exposure induces a pathological predisposition to chronic kidney disease. Hyperoxia-induced kidney injuries are influenced by several molecular factors, including hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and interleukin-6/Smad2/transforming growth factor-β, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways; these are key to cell proliferation, tissue inflammation, and cell membrane repair. Hyperoxia-induced oxidative stress is characterized by the attenuation or the induction of multiple molecular factors associated with kidney damage. This review focuses on the molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of hyperoxia-induced kidney injuries to establish a framework for potential interventions.
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