) is a pseudohalide anion omnipresent across mammals and is particularly concentrated in secretions within the oral cavity, digestive tract and airway. Thiocyanate can outcompete chlorine anions and other halides (F−
) as substrates for myeloperoxidase by undergoing two-electron oxidation with hydrogen peroxide. This forms their respective hypohalous acids (HOX where X−
= halides) and in the case of thiocyanate, hypothiocyanous acid (HOSCN), which is also a bactericidal oxidative species involved in the regulation of commensal and pathogenic microflora. Disease may dysregulate redox processes and cause imbalances in the oxidative profile, where typically favoured oxidative species, such as hypochlorous acid (HOCl), result in an overabundance of chlorinated protein residues. As such, the pharmacological capacity of thiocyanate has been recently investigated for its ability to modulate myeloperoxidase activity for HOSCN, a less potent species relative to HOCl, although outcomes vary significantly across different disease models. To date, most studies have focused on therapeutic effects in respiratory and cardiovascular animal models. However, we note other conditions such as rheumatic arthritis where SCN−
administration may worsen patient outcomes. Here, we discuss the pathophysiological role of SCN−
in diseases where MPO is implicated.
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