Carbon monoxide can be used to protect organs during transplant: Study

Carbon monoxide can be used to protect organs during transplant: Study

Prodrugs are inactive compounds that, when administered undergo a chemical process in the body and release active pharmacological agents.

In a new study, researchers have developed an oral prodrug that delivers carbon monoxide to protect against acute kidney injury. Researchers from Georgia State University, led by Binghe Wang, published the study in Chemical Science.

In a new study, researchers have developed an oral prodrug that delivers carbon monoxide to protect against acute kidney injury. Researchers from Georgia State University, led by Binghe Wang, published the study in Chemical Science.

Scientists have discovered that carbon monoxide (CO) can have beneficial effects by reducing inflammation and protecting cells against injury, even though it is toxic in large doses. CO has been found to protect kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and liver, as well as other organs, from injury.

Over a period of five years, using saccharine (found in Sweet'N Low) and acesulfame (found in Splenda) as "carrier" molecules, Wang's team developed prodrugs for treating CO that could be administered orally.

Prodrugs are inactive compounds that, when administered undergo a chemical process in the body and release active pharmacological agents. When exposed to water, these molecules decompose, releasing carbon dioxide.

These are the first examples of orally active, organic CO prodrugs that use a benign carrier and have a demonstrated safety profile.

Wang, a senior author of the paper and a scholar at the Georgia Research Alliance, says that it is difficult to deliver gas therapeutics, much less poisonous gases, to patients and that this work represents an important step toward developing alternative delivery forms.

In order to be sure that the carrier will be safe to be used in a pill for human consumption, they wanted to work with a carrier that has a very well-characterised safety profile, she added.

A prodrug, CO-306, was tested for its potential to protect against acute kidney damage. By administering the prodrug along with the carrier molecule, saccharine to mice, the researchers found that it reduced the biomarkers of renal damage, suggesting that CO-306 could be developed into a viable therapeutic molecule.

Mouse models were used to replicate kidney tissue damage associated with muscle damage, sickle cell disease, malaria, cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, and severe sepsis.

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A more extensive animal model study and safety assessment will be conducted on CO-306 by Professor Wang and colleagues at Georgia State University, Vanderbilt University, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Mississippi before human clinical trials may begin.

In addition, they also plan to test its effectiveness against other types of organ injuries.

Wang says CO-based therapies particularly hold promise as a method of reducing the likelihood of organ damage during transplantation and improving outcomes for transplant patients.

CO-based therapy holds particular promise as a way to reduce the risk of organ damage during transplantation and improve recovery rates for transplant patients, according to Wang.

"Science shows that exposing organs to CO gas can help preserve organs and prevent them from deteriorating during the process of transplantation," he said. "Now we need to demonstrate that these prodrugs can have a similar effect."

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