Carbon monoxide: An unusual drug

Francesca Gullotta, Alessandra Di Masi, Paolo Ascenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The highly toxic gas carbon monoxide (CO) displays many physiological roles in several organs and tissues. Although many diseases, including cancer, hematological diseases, hypertension, heart failure, inflammation, sepsis, neurodegeneration, and sleep disorders, have been linked to abnormal endogenous CO metabolism and functions, CO administration has therapeutic potential in inflammation, sepsis, lung injury, cardiovascular diseases, transplantation, and cancer. Here, insights into the CO-based therapy, characterized by the induction or gene transfer of heme oxygenase-1 and either gas or CO-releasing molecule administration, are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-386
Number of pages9
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Carbon monoxide
  • CO-based therapy
  • CO-releasing molecules
  • Gaseous co
  • Human health
  • Induction or gene transfer of heme oxygenase-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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