Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long-Term Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Are An Autoimmune Reaction

Date:
September 9, 2004
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
Later this fall, emergency-medicine physicians enter into what they call the “CO season” - a time when faulty furnaces and other mechanical mishaps lead to a spike in cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO poisoning is the leading cause of injury and death by poisoning worldwide, with about 40,000 people treated in the U.S. annually.

Philadelphia, PA - Later this fall, emergency-medicine physicians enter into what they call the “CO season” - a time when faulty furnaces and other mechanical mishaps lead to a spike in cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO poisoning is the leading cause of injury and death by poisoning worldwide, with about 40,000 people treated in the U.S. annually. Brain damage occurs - days to weeks later - in half of the patients with a serious case of CO poisoning.

Related Articles


The physiological causes of this delayed decline were not well understood until now. A team led by Stephen R. Thom, MD, PhD, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of Hyperbaric Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, report this week online in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences that CO causes profound changes in myelin basic protein (MBP) - a major protein constituent of myelin, the protective sheath surrounding neurons. Using an animal model, they showed that the CO-induced changes in MBP set into motion an autoimmune response in which lymphocytes, triggered to eliminate altered MBP, continue to attack normal MBP.

Specifically, the researchers found that by-products of CO metabolism in the brain alter the charge and structure of MBP. “These changes in MBP have also been demonstrated in multiple sclerosis, which is why we paralleled the study along those lines,” says Thom.

To link acute CO poisoning to long-term brain injury, the team conducted tests on normal versus CO-poisoned rats, comparing their abilities to navigate and memorize a maze. "CO poisoned rats don't learn," said Thom. "But if you render their immune systems tolerant to altered MBP, by feeding them normal MBP before CO poisoning and thereby short-circuiting the lymphocyte response, the rats learn normally."

Thom says that overall this work suggests that the 50 percent or more of patients who develop brain damage following severe CO poisoning may do so, in large part, due to an autoimmune reaction. The body simply does not know when to stop attacking what it now views as an invader. “This opens up a lot of possibilities, such as treatment with immunosuppressant agents, in conjunction with standard hyperbaric oxygen therapy,” he says. “Until our study elucidated this immune response, we had no motivation to think along those lines.”

Penn colleagues on the paper are: Veena M. Bhopale, Donald Fisher, Jie Zhang, and Phyllis Gimotty. This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Long-Term Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Are An Autoimmune Reaction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040908085440.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (2004, September 9). Long-Term Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Are An Autoimmune Reaction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040908085440.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Long-Term Effects Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Are An Autoimmune Reaction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040908085440.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins