Red Wine Compound Reduces Inflammation in COPD Patients

A component found in red wine and grapes may help manage inflammation caused by a bacterial pathogen associated with upper respiratory tract inflammatory diseases.

A mechanism used by a compound found in grapes and red wine may help alleviate inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) patients.

Resveratrol is a part of a group of compounds called polyphenols, and is believed to act like antioxidants that protect the human body against damage. Furthermore, it has been long considered as a therapeutic agent for a variety of diseases.

In a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers found that resveratrol was effective against inflammation caused by the bacterial pathogen Haemophilus influenza (NTHi).

“We showed that an important component in red wine and also grapes called resveratrol can suppress inflammation,” said senior study author Jian-Dong Li. “It has been shown that resveratrol can suppress inflammation, but how it regulates inflammation still remains largely unknown. We found resveratrol suppresses a major bacterial pathogen causing otitis media and COPD by upregulating or increasing the production of a negative regulator called MyD88 short.”

Although antibiotics are commonly used to treat NTHi infections, the increase in antibiotic resistance bacteria and the limited availability of treatments produces an urgent need for the development of non-antibiotic therapeutics, according to the study. The results of the current study showed that by enhancing MyD88 short, resveratrol decreases NTHi-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in airway epithelial cells, and in the lungs of mice.

MyD88 is referred to as a brake pedal protein because of its ability to tightly control inflammation induced by NTHi. Additionally, researchers discovered that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory effects after NTHi infection as well, indicating its therapeutic potential.

“The findings help to shed light on developing new therapeutic strategies by targeting or pharmacologically upregulating MyD88 short production,” Li said. “We could use resveratrol to suppress inflammation or develop resveratrol derivatives that could be pharmacological agents to suppress inflammation using the same strategy.”