Oxygen is necessary to life. Humans and animals use oxygen to convert fats and sugars into the energy that keeps all life processes running and maintains the body’s temperature. At the same time, oxygen can also be harmful when it is converted into toxic oxygen particles that cause serious damage to tissues and organs.
We can detect changes in the amount of oxygen with certain sensors. These oxygen meters are essential in adapting the body’s metabolism during the changeover from an oxygen-rich to an oxygen-deficient environment.
The absence of PHD1 might also explain the mysterious adaptations of hibernating animals, with important implications for the preservation of organs for transplant. Such tissues often have to contend with prolonged oxygen deficiency, which destroys their viability for transplantation. If these organs could be kept in a ‘hibernation’ condition, perhaps more lives could be saved...Funding
This research was conducted by Julian Aragonés and colleagues in the ‘Functional genomics of cardiovascular and neurovascular biology and disease’ research group, led by Peter Carmeliet, within VIB’s Department of Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, under the direction of Désiré Collen.
Joke Comijn | alfa
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