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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00825

Heme Catabolic Pathway in Inflammation and Immune Disorders

  • 1Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (CAS), China

In recent years, the heme catabolic pathway is considered to play an important regulatory role in cell protection, apoptosis, inflammation and other physiological and pathological processes. An appropriate amount of heme forms the basic elements of various life activities, while when released in large quantities, it can induce toxicity by mediating oxidative stress and inflammation. Heme oxygenase (HO) -1 can catabolize free heme into carbon monoxide (CO), ferrous iron, and biliverdin (BV) /bilirubin (BR). The diverse functions of these metabolites in immune systems are fascinating. Decades work shows that administration of degradation products of heme such as CO and BV/BR exerts protective activities in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS) and other immune disorders. This review elaborates the molecular and biochemical characterization of heme catabolic pathway, discusses the signal transduction and immunomodulatory mechanism in inflammation and summarizes the promising therapeutic strategies based on this pathway in inflammatory and immune disorders.

Keywords: Heme, heme oxygenase, Carbon Monoxide, Biliverdin, Inflammation, Immune disorders

Received: 09 Feb 2019; Accepted: 26 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Paola Patrignani, Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy

Reviewed by:

Melania Dovizio, Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy
Frank Wagener, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Netherlands  

Copyright: © 2019 Tang, Wu and Wu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Wei Tang, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (CAS), Shanghai, China, tangwei@simm.ac.cn
Dr. Yanwei Wu, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (CAS), Shanghai, China, wuyanwei@simm.ac.cn