Therapeutic Potential of Hemoglobin Derived from the Marine Worm Arenicola marina (M101): A Literature Review of a Breakthrough Innovation

Mar Drugs. 2021 Jun 29;19(7):376. doi: 10.3390/md19070376.


Oxygen (O2) is indispensable for aerobic respiration and cellular metabolism. In case of injury, reactive oxygen species are produced, causing oxidative stress, which triggers cell damaging chemical mediators leading to ischemic reperfusion injuries (IRI). Sufficient tissue oxygenation is necessary for optimal wound healing. In this context, several hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers have been developed and tested, especially as graft preservatives for transplant procedures. However, most of the commercially available O2 carriers increase oxidative stress and show some adverse effects. Interestingly, the hemoglobin derived from the marine lugworm Arenicola marina (M101) has been presented as an efficient therapeutic O2 carrier with potential anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. Furthermore, it has demonstrated promise as a supplement to conventional organ preservatives by reducing IRI. This review summarizes the properties and various applications of M101. M101 is an innovative oxygen carrier with several beneficial therapeutic properties, and further research must be carried out to determine its efficacy in the management of different pathologies.

Keywords: Arenicola marina; M101; hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers; therapeutic oxygen carriers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Hemoglobins / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Polychaeta*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Hemoglobins