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Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications
Volume 2018, Article ID 8547364, 23 pages
Review Article

An Overview of the Potential Therapeutic Applications of CO-Releasing Molecules

Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 801 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 3K6

Correspondence should be addressed to Ian S. Butler; ac.lligcm@reltub.nai

Received 16 March 2018; Revised 19 June 2018; Accepted 18 July 2018; Published 12 August 2018

Academic Editor: Francesco Paolo Fanizzi

Copyright © 2018 Aiten Ismailova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carbon monoxide (CO) has long been known as the “silent killer” owing to its ability to form carboxyhemoglobin—the main cause of CO poisoning in humans. Its role as an endogenous neurotransmitter, however, was suggested in the early 1990s. Since then, the biological activity of CO has been widely examined via both the direct administration of CO and in the form of so-called “carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORMs).” This overview will explore the general physiological effects and potential therapeutic applications of CO when delivered in the form of CORMs.