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Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2009 May;19(5):663-82. doi: 10.1517/13543770902858824.

Therapeutic applications of the gaseous mediators carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide.

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  • 1Campus de la Universidad Aut√≥noma, Centro Nacional de Biotecnolog√≠a / CSIC, Department of Plant Molecular Genetics, Madrid, Spain. gbannenberg@cnb.csic.es



Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) and carbon monoxide (CO) are endogenously produced gaseous autacoids that regulate a number of physiological processes, including the inflammatory response, cell death and proliferation, neural transmission and smooth muscle tone.


The current review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all recent patent applications that address the potential therapeutic applications of CO and H(2)S.


Beyond the direct administration of CO and H(2)S, this review highlights the therapeutic applications of a variety of gas-releasing molecules that are being developed to deliver CO and H(2)S to diseased tissues at therapeutic doses. The term autacoid, which, in addition to its pharmacological use to describe a locally-acting hormone, literally translates from Greek as 'self-drug', seems to particularly well describe the current approach to capture the potential therapeutic use of these two gasotransmitters. In summary, we can conclude that there is a markedly growing interest in harnessing the tissue-protective actions of CO and H(2)S.

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