Carbon monoxide in sepsis

Alexander Hoetzel, Tamas Dolinay, Rene Schmidt, Augustine M.K. Choi, Stefan W. Ryter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Despite modern practices in critical care medicine, sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the intensive care unit. Thus, the need to identify new therapeutic tools for the treatment of sepsis is urgent. In this context, carbon monoxide has become a promising therapeutic molecule that can potentially prevent uncontrolled inflammation in sepsis. In humans, carbon monoxide arises endogenously from the degradation of heme by heme oxygenase enzymes. Both endogenously synthesized and exogenously applied carbon monoxide can exert antiinflammatory and antiapoptotic effects in cells and tissues. Based on these properties, carbon monoxide, when applied at low concentration, conferred protection in a variety of cellular and rodent models of sepsis, and furthermore reduced morbidity and mortality in vivo. Therefore, application of carbon monoxide may have a major impact on the future of sepsis treatment. This review summarizes evidence for salutary effects of carbon monoxide in sepsis of various organs, including lung, heart, kidney, liver, and intestine, and discusses the potential translation of the data into human clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2013-2026
Number of pages14
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon monoxide in sepsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this