By inducing the release of nitric oxide (NO) gas in mice with septic shock, researchers Anje Cauwels and Peter Brouckaert discovered that the animal's organs showed much less damage, while their chances of survival increased significantly. That's contrary to all expectations, since it is generally assumed that nitric oxide is responsible for the potentially lethal drop in blood pressure in septic shock.
Septic shock, or sepsis, is a medical condition in which acute inflammation, low blood pressure, and blood clotting cause a dangerous decrease in the delivery of blood to the organs. Because of the lack of oxygen, the patient's organs start to fail, one after the other. Currently, only supportive treatment is available.
It is generally assumed that nitric oxide (NO) gas is responsible for the hypotension and cardiovascular collapse in septic shock. Therefore, a lot of medical research is focused on combating NO, which is also a messenger molecule in the body. Attempts to inhibit its production paradoxically led to a worsening of the organ damage and in an increased lethality, both in animal models and in a clinical trial in sepsis patients. This led to the assumption that NO also has positive effects in sepsis, but up to now NO remained a prime suspect for the pathogenesis of the cardiovascular shock.
The team in Ghent is turning this paradigm upside-down in an article that will appear in The Journal of Experimental Medicine on Monday 21 December 2009. During their research, Cauwels and Brouckaert administered nitrite − a substance that releases NO − to mice with septic shock. The nitrite treatment, in sharp contrast with the worsening effect of inhibiting NO-synthesis, significantly attenuates hypothermia, mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress and dysfunction, tissue infarction, and mortality in mice. It is not yet known what mechanisms are at work behind this observation. That will be the subject of further research.
For now, not only is this discovery revolutionizing the way in which scientists view nitric oxide's role in septic shock − it also opens possibilities for treatment. Instead of trying to prevent the effects of NO, they should rather be imitated or reinforced to provide a solution for saving organs or particular parts of the body where there is a lack of oxygen due to septic shock.
Joris Gansemans | EurekAlert!
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences