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Journal of Translational Medicine

, 7:19

First Online: 23 March 2009Received: 04 March 2009Accepted: 23 March 2009DOI: 10.1186-1479-5876-7-19

Cite this article as: Arias, JI., Aller, MA. & Arias, J. J Transl Med 2009 7: 19. doi:10.1186-1479-5876-7-19


Tetrapyrrole molecules are distributed in virtually all living organisms on Earth. In mammals, tetrapyrrole end products are closely linked to oxygen metabolism. Since increasingly complex trophic functional systems for using oxygen are considered in the post-traumatic inflammatory response, it can be suggested that tetrapyrrole molecules and, particularly their derived pigments, play a key role in modulating inflammation.

In this way, the diverse colorfulness that the inflammatory response triggers during its evolution would reflect the major pathophysiological importance of these pigments in each one of its phases. Therefore, the need of exploiting this color resource could be considered for both the diagnosis and treatment of the inflammation.

AbbreviationsATPAdenosin triphosphate

BDNFBrain-derived neurotrophic factor

CO2Carbon dioxide



H2SHydrogen sulfide

IL-1βInterleukin 1-beta

NGFNerve growth factor

RNSReactive nitrogen species

ROSReactive oxygen species

TIMPsTissue inhibitors metalloproteinases.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1479-5876-7-19 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Jose-Ignacio Arias - María-Angeles Aller - Jaime Arias


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