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Gut Bacteria By-Product Offers Protection Against Asthma

by Karishma Abhishek on January 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM
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Gut Bacteria By-Product Offers Protection Against Asthma

Astounding discovery of two molecules offers not only protection in experimental models of asthma but can also substantially reduce the severity of an attack as per a study designed to evaluate the impact of the immune system on gut bacteria at the Monash University Central Clinical School, published in the journal Nature Immunology.

These molecules have seen to offer a treatment role in the respiratory illness of animal studies, that is prevalent, and often fatal, in people with serious COVID-19.

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Asthma is one of the most common major non-communicable diseases and it impacts 300 million people globally. The global asthma treatment market size stood at over $18 billion US in 2019.

The team was interested to understand how the immune system impacts the gut microbiome using a mice model with a limited immune system (consisting of a single type of antibody). Transfer of these gut bacteria into 'normal' mice would help one to identify which bacteria had an impact on the mouse immune system.
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Role Of Gut Bacteria By-Product In Asthma

To a surprise, the team found that a particular gut bacteria by-product, called p-cresol sulfate (PCS), had profound and striking protection against asthma. The PCS was produced by enhanced bacterial metabolism of L-tyrosine; an amino acid abundantly found in dietary supplements and helps in improving attention and alertness.

"We found that giving mice either L-tyrosine or PCS, provided significant protection against lung inflammation. PCS travels from the gut to the lungs, and acts on epithelial cells lining the airways to prevent the allergic asthma response", says the author.

The metabolites were found to be protective even in animal models of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) - a common killer of people with serious COVID-19.

"It's very important that a thorough clinical study is performed in order to determine whether L-tyrosine is effective in people with asthma and for us to determine what is the correct dose and treatment regime", says Professor Benjamin Marsland from the Monash University Central Clinical School.

The PCS is found in high levels with chronic kidney disease and thus it is toxic because of the patient's inability to clear it. Hence protective action of PCS against asthma especially when inhaling without any potential toxic side effects is being developed. This may open the way for a novel inhaled preventive therapy for asthma.

Source: Medindia
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