Ginger-Derived Compound May Help Prevent Lupus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome

by johnsmith

In a study published in the journal JCI Insight, 6-gingerol, the most abundant bioactive compound of ginger root, lowered autoantibody production and helped halt disease progression in mice models of lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome.

Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, and has traditionally been used as an herbal supplement in the treatment of various chronic diseases. Image credit: Joseph Mucira.

Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, and has traditionally been used as an herbal supplement in the treatment of various chronic diseases. Image credit: Joseph Mucira.

University of Michigan’s Dr. Ramadan Ali and colleagues looked at lupus, a disease which attacks the body’s own immune system, and its often associated condition antiphospholipid syndrome, which causes blood clots, since both cause widespread inflammation and damage organs overtime.

In mice with either antiphospholipid syndrome or lupus, 6-gingerol prevented neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release, which is triggered by the autoantibodies that these diseases produce.

“NETs come from white blood cells called neutrophils,” Dr. Ali said.

“These sticky spider-web like structures are formed when autoantibodies interact with receptors on the neutrophil’s surface.”

“They play an important role in the pathogenesis of lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome where they trigger autoantibody formation and contribute to blood vessel clotting and damage.”

Dr. Ali and co-authors discovered that after giving 6-gingerol, the mice had lower levels of NETs.

Their tendency to make clots was also drastically reduced and 6-gingerol appeared to inhibit neutrophil enzymes called phosphodiesterases, which in turn reduced neutrophil activation.

But the most surprising find of all was that the mice, regardless of whether they had antiphospholipid syndrome or lupus, had reduced autoantibodies suggesting the inflammatory cycle, autoantibodies stimulating NETs which stimulate more autoantibodies, was broken.

Although the study was done in mouse models, the researchers think the preclinical data, showing that 6-gingerol has anti-neutrophil properties that may protect against autoimmune disease progression, encourages clinical trial development.

“As for basically all treatments in our field, one size does not fit all,” said Dr. Jason Knight, also from the University of Michigan.

“But, I wonder if there is a subgroup of autoimmune patients with hyperactive neutrophils who might benefit from increased intake of 6-gingerol.”

“It will be important to study neutrophils before and after treatment so we can determine the subgroup most likely to see benefit.”

6-gingerol can’t be the primary therapy for someone with active antiphospholipid syndrome or lupus, but the team is interested to see if the natural supplement may help those at high risk for disease development.

“Those that have autoantibodies, but don’t have activated disease, may benefit from this treatment if 6-gingerol proves to be a protective agent in humans as it does in mice,” Dr. Ali said.

“Patients with active disease take blood thinners, but what if there was also a natural supplement that helped reduce the amount of clots they produce? And what if we could decrease their autoantibodies?”

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Ramadan A. Ali et al. Anti-neutrophil properties of natural gingerols in models of lupus. JCI Insight, published online December 29, 2020; doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.138385

Source link: https://www.sci.news/medicine/6-gingerol-lupus-antiphospholipid-syndrome-09226.html

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