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How Toxic Gases Play A Role In Medication Development

Aug 09, 2016 03:03 AM EDT

Toxic gases can now be utilized in the development of medications for certain diseases.

Research revealed that though breathing in these toxic gases called gasotransmitters is hazardous to human health, they are also formed in small amounts in the body, Science Daily has learned. Also, these gases turned out to be helpful when it comes to human health.

In a statement, as cited by the publication, University of Athens Pharmacology Professor Andreas Papapetropoulos said that many diseases were cause by too much or too little of the said gases and understanding their role in the body could have clinical applications.

Among the gases that are being studied include nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). As per reports, several biologists and chemists from various countries have been developing methods to measure the amount of these gases, as well as their activities, in cells.

Science has allowed the researchers to link these harmful gases to human health, specifically in cardiology. In a statement, Professor Papapetropoulous said that one area they had identified as having real potential was cardiovascular disease.

The researcher explained that hydrogen sulfide protected the heart against ischemia which occurred during a heart attack while nitric oxide decreased blood pressure, which reduced the risk of stroke. With these mechanisms, certain amounts of these gases could be helpful to cardiovascular patients.

While hydrogen sulfide has beneficial effects to the heart, it may not have the same effects to the gastrointestinal system. Professor Papapetropolous said that H2S-producing enzymes were present in increased numbers in cancer; thus, H2S-inhibitors could be utilized to inhibit colon and breast cancer growth, as per Phys. For the professor, it could be a subject for future clinical studies.

Professor Papapetropolous and his team have identified the individual effects of the gasotransmitters in the cardiovascular and the gastrointestinal system. At this point, they are set to determine the gases' interaction with one another.

Know more about gasotransmitters here.

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