Volume 88 Issue 40 | p. 35 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 4, 2010

Free Heme Promotes Severe Sepsis

Blood's iron-toting compound heme is key to the body's systemic inflammatory response to an infection
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: heme, sepsis, infection, cell death

Blood’s iron-toting compound, heme, plays a central role in the development of severe sepsis, an extreme systemic inflammatory response to infection, Portuguese and Brazilian researchers report (Sci. Transl. Med. 2010, 2, 51ra71). Miguel P. Soares of the Gulbenkian Institute of Science, in Oeiras, Portugal, and coworkers discovered that free heme released from hemoglobin as a result of an infection promotes tissue damage and severe sepsis. Protoporphyrin IX—heme’s organic framework—doesn’t cause sepsis on its . . .

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