Heme proteins transport oxygen and facilitate redox reactions. Heme, however, may be dangerous, especially when free in biologic systems. For example, iron released from hemoglobin-derived heme can catalyze oxidative injury to neuronal cell membranes and may be a factor in post-traumatic damage to the central nervous system. We have shown that heme catalyzes the oxidation of low density lipoproteins which can damage vascular endothelial cells. The endothelium is susceptible to damage by oxidants generated by activated phagocytes, and this has been invoked as an important mechanism in a number of pathologies including the Adulte Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), acute tubular necrosis, reperfusion injury and atherosclerosis. Because of its highly hydrophobic nature, heme readily intercalates into endothelial membranes and potentiates oxidant-mediated damage. This injury is dependent on the iron content of heme and is.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes, and Biotechnology|
|State||Published - Jan 1994|