Carbon monoxide may help counter side-effect of anti-cancer drug

November 22nd, 2007 - 12:31 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 22 (ANI): Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that carbon monoxide counteracts one side-effect of an anti-cancer drug called Doxorubicin (DOX).

DOX, a red-coloured drug, carries serious side-effects for the heart such as cardiac muscle deterioration (cardiomyopathy) and scar tissue accumulation in the heart (fibrosis).

This happens because the drug inhibits mitochondrial biogenesis, a term used to describe cellular energy generation.

Mitochondrial biogenesis is known to depend on the presence of CO and HO, which promote energy production and defend the cell from injury.

In mice treated with DOX, mitochondrial biogenesis in the heart was suppressed, resulting in heart cell death, thinning and dilation of the heart wall, and fibrosis.

Researchers Claude Piantadosi and his colleagues were able to recover mitochondrial biogenesis in DOX-treated rodents by either inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO) or overexpression of the protein HO-1.

Pinhalation of CO by DOX-treated mice restored mitochondrial biogenesis and averted cardiomyopath, and overexpression of HO-1 decreased mitochondrial DNA damage and subsequent cell death.

The authors therefore suggested that protecting mitochondrial biogenesis in cancer patients treated with DOX might reduce the cardio-toxic side effects of the drug. (ANI)

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