Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules: A Pharmacological Expedient to Counteract Inflammation

Author(s): Maria Jose Alcaraz, Maria Isabel Guillen, Maria Luisa Ferrandiz, Javier Megias, Roberto Motterlini

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 14 , Issue 5 , 2008

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Carbon monoxide (CO) mediates many of the biological effects that are attributed to heme oxygenase (HO), the enzyme responsible for CO production in mammals. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of HO-1, the inducible isoform of heme oxygenase, have been demonstrated in a variety of disease models and a therapeutic exploitation of this pathway is currently under scrutiny. In this context, the liberation of CO from CO-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) is extremely attractive as these compounds may form the basis of a new class of pharmaceuticals. Recent investigations indicate that HO-1 and CO modulate important processes in chronic inflammation; these include the control of immune responses, the production of inflammatory mediators and the mitigation of cartilage or bone destruction. As HO-1 is highly expressed in the joint tissues of patients affected by arthritic diseases, it is plausible to suggest that this pathway may play a protective role against joint degenerative diseases. Studies aimed at identifying the signaling pathways responsive to endogenous CO and CO-RMs in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory states are currently in progress. This research will help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the pharmacological effects of CO-RMs and may lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.

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Article Details

Year: 2008
Page: [465 - 472]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/138161208783597362
Price: $65

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PDF: 10