COVID-19 patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) are often critically ill and show lung injury and hemolysis. Heme is as prosthetic moiety crucial for the function of a wide variety of heme-proteins, including hemoglobin and cytochromes. However, injury-derived free heme promotes adhesion molecule expression, leukocyte recruitment, vascular permeabilization, platelet activation, complement activation, thrombosis, and fibrosis.
In a publication in Antioxidants, Frank Wagener, Peter Pickkers and internationals collaborators postulate that the heme-HO system represents an interesting target for novel “proof of concept” studies in the context of COVID-19. In particular, heme can be degraded by the anti-inflammatory enzyme heme oxygenase (HO) generating biliverdin/bilirubin, iron/ferritin and carbon monoxide. The RIMLS researchers therefore postulate that free heme contributes to many of the inflammatory phenomena witnessed in critically ill COVID-19 patients, whilst induction of HO-1 or harnessing heme may provide protection. HO-activity not only degrades injurious heme, but its effector molecules possess also potent salutary anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Until a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 becomes available, novel strategies need to be explored to attenuate the pro-inflammatory, pro-thrombotic and pro-fibrotic consequences of SARS-CoV-2 leading to morbidity and mortality.
Publication in Antioxidants, by Frank Wagener, theme Reconstructive and regenerative medicine, and colleagues.
Related news items
Nijmegen literally puts Digital Health on the map Flourishing ecosystem gets its own interactive overview22 July 2021
Digital Health is thriving in the Nijmegen region, where it contributes to better care and health and also creates jobs. To bring developers and end users even closer together, The Economic Board and the Radboudumc are introducing the Interactive Digital Health map.read more
Michiel Vermeulen and Klaas Mulder receive funding from ZonMw for a collaborative project using stem cell-based models15 July 2021
Michiel Vermeulen and Klaas Mulder, theme Cancer development and immune defense, receive funding from ZonMw for a collaborative project to develop a stem cell based model to study early human embryogenesis.read more
Launch of UNITE4TB partnership marks a new era in Tuberculosis treatment development15 July 2021
The partnership will accelerate the development of new Tuberculosis (TB) drug regimens as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private European Research & Development Consortiumread more