American researchers have achieved a feat offering the promise of one day being able to rid the human body in the event of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Scientists have modified a molecule located in the brains of mice. Explanations.
CO poisoning is the most common cause of fatal poisoning in many countries such as France where several thousand people are victims each year, leading to several hundred deaths. This is why the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES) recalls a few safety rules concerning the operation of heating appliances, fireplaces and internal combustion engines. Indeed, 10% of CO in the air is enough for it to be fatal, so you might as well protect yourself against it.
According to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on December 7, 2016, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh (United States) found a response to this toxic asphyxiating gas. This solution is called neuroglobin and is reminiscent of hemoglobin, the kind of protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the organs.
This neuroglobin present in the brain has the capacity to trap carbon monoxide and to evacuate it towards the urine. American researchers succeeded in modifying this molecule by taking it from the brains of mice and were able to make it more effective. The mice tested survived at an 87% rate under conditions that are usually fatal to humans. To do this, the latter received an injection of modified neuroglobins.
After the CO was evacuated by the body, the mice’s blood pressure and heart rate reduced towards a return to normal. The researchers say the results are preliminary, but also hopeful. Indeed, if the neuroglobin manages to select the dangerous substances to evacuate such as CO, the effects of an infection are not completely cancelled. To be continued !
Sources: Health Magazine – Sciences and Future