Japanese traditional therapy may help prevent inflammatory brain damage

   Mar 19, 2:16 pm

Washington, Mar 19 (ANI): A compound used in traditional Japanese medicine, honokiol (HNK), plays a role in blocking key protein in inflammatory brain damage, a new study led by Indian origin scientist has suggested.

Microglia are the first line defence of the brain and are constantly looking for infections to fight off.

Overactive microglia can cause uncontrolled inflammation within the brain, which can in turn lead to neuronal damage.

New research shows that HNK is able to down-regulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory enzymes in activated microglia via Klf4, a protein known to regulate DNA.

Scientists from the National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, India, used lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule present on the surface of bacteria, to stimulate an immune response from microglia cells.

LPS mimics the effect of a bacterial infection and the microglia cells spring into action, releasing proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNFa.

Activation of microglia also stimulates the production of nitric oxide (NO) and Cox-2, which co-ordinate the immune response, leading to inflammation.

However uncontrolled inflammation can lead to neuronal death and permanent brain damage.

Microglial inflammation is also observed in several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The team led by Dr Anirban Basu found that the inflammatory response was mediated by Klf4, a 'transcription' factor which binds directly to DNA to enhance or impede gene expression.

Treating microglia with HNK reduced their activation and HNK treated cells secreted less cytokines in response to LPS.

HNK also down regulated the activity of Klf4 (and pNF-kb - another regulator of inflammation).

Dr Basu suggested that HNK down regulates Klf4 which in turn down regulates NO and Cox-2 production.

"HNK can easily move across the blood brain barrier and we found that HNK reduced levels of pNF-kb and Klf4 as well as the number of activated microglia in the brains of LPS treated mice," he said.

"Our work with HNK has found that Klf4 is an important regulator of inflammation. Both HNK and Klf4 may be important not only in regulating inflammation due to infection, but may also have applications in other diseases which affect the brain and nervous system," he added.

The study has been published in BioMed Central's open access journal Journal of Neuroinflammation. (ANI)

'Dramatic thinning' of Arctic ice since 1975 Mar 4, 4:19 pm
Washington, Mar 4 (ANI): Combined Arctic ice observations have shown decades of loss.
Full Story
Factors influencing spread of conservation news in social media revealed Mar 4, 3:36 pm
Washington, Mar 4 (ANI): A new study has shown factors influencing which conservation news get shared or liked in social media.
Full Story
New highly sensitive malaria-detecting assays may help beat disease Mar 4, 12:05 pm
Washington, Mar 4 (ANI): An international team of scientists has come up with new assays that can detect malaria parasites in human blood at very low levels, which may be helpful in the campaign to eradicate the disease.
Full Story
Here's how brain makes us want, have and even inhibit sex Mar 3, 3:05 pm
Washington, Mar. 03 (ANI): A new study has provided a deeper insight into how brain is involved in wanting, having and inhibiting sex.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY