New Therapeutic Target for Inflammation Suppression?

Researchers at Georgia State University report that the compound resveratrol, a natural component of grapes and red wine, may be more effective than antibiotic therapy in combatting inflammation caused by a bacterial pathogen. The bacteria is associated with inflammatory conditions that include COPD and otitis media that can cause pain and hearing loss. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, one of a group of compounds that are believed to provide antioxidant protection. The study of mice found that resveratrol effectively mitigated against nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a major respiratory pathogen. The mechanism of action appears to involve the increased production of a negative regulator called MyD88 short. The findings appear online in the journal Scientific Reports.

Although antibiotics are typically used to treat NTHi infections, the increase in antibiotic-resistant strains has created a need for more and better nonantibiotic therapeutic alternatives. In the current study, resveratrol was found to enhance production of MyD88 short, a “brake pedal protein” which controls inflammation caused by the NTHi pathogen. The authors assert that MyD88 could thus represent a new target for inflammation suppression therapies. Senior author Jian-Dong Li, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, said, “The findings help us to shed light on developing new therapeutic strategies by targeting or pharmacologically upregulating MyD88 short production. We could use resveratrol to suppress inflammation or develop resveratrol derivatives that could be pharmacological agents to suppress inflammation using the same strategy.”

Read more about the research findings here.

A link to the journal article may be found here.

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