Helena Vieira, PhDPrincipal Investigator CEDOC, Nova Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Assistant Professor at UCIBIO, NOVA School of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gasotransmitter endogenously produced by the activity of heme oxygenase, which is a stress-response enzyme. Endogenous CO or low concentrations of exogenous CO have been described to present several cytoprotective functions: anti-apoptosis, anti-inflammatory, vasomodulation, maintenance of homeostasis, stimulation of preconditioning and modulation of cell differentiation. This seminar will present how CO is cytoprotective by targeting mitochondria and by regulating cell metabolism in brain cells. Enhancement of oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial population is involved in CO-induced neuronal differentiation. Likewise, CO prevents astrocytic apoptosis by increasing ATP production via
oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial metabolism. Recent data also indicate CO may modulate mitochondrial quality control.