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Asian Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 15 - 28

Iron and Nitric Oxide Balance in African Trypanosomosis: Is there Really a Link?

O.S. Adeyemi, M.A. Akanji, T.O. Johnson and J.T. Ekanem    

Abstract: Iron is essential for living cells, including pathogenic microorganisms. So altered iron availability is often a key component in the host-pathogens interplay. Secondary to infection with pathogens, there is the activation of macrophages. Activated macrophages by action of inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) produce Nitric Oxide (NO) as part of host defense mechanism. However, production of nitric oxide as obtained in Trypanosoma brucei infection strongly correlates with increased cellular iron. The expanded free iron pool may become available to invading parasites and thus promotes proliferation. Establishing the link between these two important molecules may offer new treatment strategies for African trypanosomosis in the face of increasing toxicity and parasite resistance to drugs currently available for treatment of African trypanosomosis.

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