Carbon monoxide: Present and future indications for a medical gas

Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gaseous molecules continue to hold new promise in molecular medicine as experimental and clinical therapeutics. The low molecular weight gas carbon monoxide (CO), and similar gaseous molecules (e.g., H2S, nitric oxide) have been implicated as potential inhalation therapies in inf lammatory diseases. At high concentration, CO represents a toxic inhalation hazard, and is a common component of air pollution. CO is also produced endogenously as a product of heme degradation catalyzed by heme oxygenase enzymes. CO binds avidly to hemoglobin, causing hypoxemia and decreased oxygen delivery to tissues at high concentrations. At physiological concentrations, CO may have endogenous roles as a signal transduction molecule in the regulation of neural and vascular function and cellular homeostasis. CO has been demonstrated to act as an effective antiinf lammatory agent in preclinical animal models of inf lammation, acute lung injury, sepsis, ischemia/reperfusion injury, and organ transplantation. Additional experimental indications for this gas include pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, metabolic diseases, and preeclampsia. The development of chemical CO releasing compounds constitutes a novel pharmaceutical approach to CO delivery with demonstrated effectiveness in sepsis models. Current and pending clinical evaluation will determine the usefulness of this gas as a therapeutic in human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-140
Number of pages18
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Acute lung injury
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Heme oxygenase (decyclizing)
  • Reperfusion injury
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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