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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013, Article ID 306421, 11 pages
Research Article

Carbon Monoxide Protects against Hepatic Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury via ROS-Dependent Akt Signaling and Inhibition of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β

1School of Biological Sciences, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 680-749, Republic of Korea
2Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 17 September 2013; Accepted 8 November 2013

Academic Editor: Sara Mostafalou

Copyright © 2013 Hyo Jeong Kim 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) may exert important roles in physiological and pathophysiological states through the regulation of cellular signaling pathways. CO can protect organ tissues from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by modulating intracellular redox status and by inhibiting inflammatory, apoptotic, and proliferative responses. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of CO in organ I/R injury remain incompletely understood. In this study, a murine model of hepatic warm I/R injury was employed to assess the role of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent signaling pathways in the protective effects of CO against inflammation and injury. Inhibition of GSK3 through the PI3K/Akt pathway played a crucial role in CO-mediated protection. CO treatment increased the phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3-beta (GSK3β) in the liver after I/R injury. Furthermore, administration of LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3K, compromised the protective effect of CO and decreased the level of phospho-GSK3β after I/R injury. These results suggest that CO protects against liver damage by maintaining GSK3β phosphorylation, which may be mediated by the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Our study provides additional support for the therapeutic potential of CO in organ injury and identifies GSK3β as a therapeutic target for CO in the amelioration of hepatic injury.