Hemoxygenase-1 in cardiovascular disease

NK Idriss, Andrew Blann, Gregory Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

104 Citations (Scopus)


Hemoxygenase (HO)-1 is an inducible isoform of the first and rate-controlling enzyme of the degradation of heme into iron, carbon monoxide, and biliverdin, the latter being subsequently converted into bilirubin. Several positive biological effects exerted by this enzyme have gained attention, as anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, angiogenic, and cytoprotective functions are attributable to carbon monoxide and/or bilirubin. Thus, the physiological induction of HO-1 may be an adaptive and beneficial response to several possibly noxious stimuli, including heme itself, suggesting a potentially autoprotective and autodefensive role in several pathophysiological states including acute coronary syndromes and stroke. This review article provides a comprehensive overview of the biochemistry, physiology, and pathophysiology of HO-1 in relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Furthermore, we present some of the emerging evidence in support of the view that the induction of the HO-1 gene may be a new opportunity to target the pathophysiology of CVD, with therapeutic implications for management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2008


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