The influence of carbon monoxide (CO) and CO-releasing molecules (CORMs) in the gastro-intestinal tract.

A second research area deals with the influence of carbon monoxide (CO) and CO-releasing molecules (CORMs) in the gastro-intestinal tract.

CO is endogenously produced by the hemoxygenase (HO) enzyme family. HO-2 is constitutively expressed, while HO-1 is expressed in stress and inflammation. Besides of CO, HO also produces biliverdin, that is metabolised to bilirubin through biliverdin reductase; both biliverdin and bilirubin are powerful anti-oxydants.

The influence of CO and CORMs on gastro-intestinal motility and their mechanism of action is investigated, as well as the interaction between the HO-biliverdin reductase system and nitrergic neurotransmission. The cytoprotective effect and the mechanism of action of CORMs is investigated in isolated intestinal epithelial cells and in vivo in the inflammatory phase of postoperative ileus.