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Targeting oxidized cysteine through diet could reduce inflammation and lower disease risk
Date:3/27/2009

Iyer and immunologist Mauricio Rojas, MD, found that a high level of oxidized cysteine drives white blood cells to send out inflammatory messages in the form of the protein IL-1 beta.

The researchers used a mouse model of sepsis to test the effects of dietary cysteine on reducing inflammation. They treated the mice with LPS, which mimics the inflammatory effect of bacteria on the human immune system and causes an increase in the level of IL-1 beta. When they supplemented the diet of the mice with cysteine, however, IL-1 beta levels dropped, thus blunting the impact of a sepsis-like inflammation.

In a subsequent study of healthy, but overweight adult volunteers with an average age of 62, IL-1 beta levels also rose and fell in association with the amount of dietary cysteine.

"Our research shows a direct mechanistic link between the oxidative stress biomarker (cysteine redox potential) and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which have been linked to multiple age-related and chronic diseases," says Jones. "Our group and others have already established that cysteine redox potential is oxidized with aging and with a number of health risk factors. This suggests that one could target cysteine redox potential as a means to decrease chronic proinflammatory signaling as an intervention for age-related diseases and for the acute inflammation of sepsis or lung injury."

The researchers plan to continue studying the relationship between cysteine and markers of inflammation in different age groups, in overweight and normal weight individuals and in critically ill patients requiring intravenous feeding.


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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