Porphyrins in health and disease
Porphyrins are components of Heme’s biosynthetic pathway. It is synthetized in the mitochondria of all living things’ cells. Heme controls oxygen in breath and detoxication but also promote the other gaz production like Nitric Oxide (NO), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) which are, all three of them, oxygen savers, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and have a tissue protective effect.
Thus, Heme is a key component of oxygen homeostasis. The Porphyrin profile can be altered quantitatively by a rise of their synthesis level, qualitatively by a modification of their respective components proportions, or most of the time in both manners :
- A rise of porhyrinuria is related with an increase of environmental xenobiotics toxic burden or endobiotics burden coming from our metabolism, or whether a decrease in the potential of the mitochondrial membrane induced by many toxics including some medecines.
- Qualitatively, a break in the profile balance, as a joint increase of the three terminated compounds, 5cxP, PcP and coproporphyrin, has been associated by many authors to a latent mercury toxicity.
- Finally, an isolated rise of coproporphyrin has been tied to xeno/endobiotics impact and/or an alteration of the mitochondrial function by MPTP* decrease, which is generated by many toxics/medecines.
Porphyrins in the physiological «web»
To the extent that Heme’s biosynthetic pathway, sensitive to many toxics, is protected in the mainstay by an effective and multifaceted detoxication system, which is composed of Phase I CYP 450, Phase II transferases, peroxidases, epoxydases, dehydrogenases, including the ALDH (type II) ; a Porphyrin profile alteration can be regarded more broadely like an insufficient detoxication capacity of the metabolism regarding the stress it have to deal with.