The researchers induced acute pancreatitis or hepatitis in various mouse models. They then injected a portion of the mice with sodium lactate, which is a component of fluids often given intravenously to patients in hospitals to maintain proper blood pH levels.
The sodium lactate reduced the activation of toll-like receptors, components of the innate immune system that recognize foreign pathogens and launch the immune system's inflammatory cascade of responses.
In reducing activation of this signaling pathway, the researchers found that the entire inflammatory cascade was limited, reducing tissue and organ injury in the mice.
"Because the lactate reduced inflammation and organ injury, we believe that it could provide an appealing therapeutic tool in the treatment of patients with acute organ injury, including those who have had heart attacks," said Rafaz Hoque, M.D., assistant professor of digestive diseases at Yale School of Medicine.
Other authors are Ahmad Farooq, Ayaz Ghani, Fred Gorelick, and Wajahat Mehal of Yale School of Medicine.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (R01DK076674-01, KO8DK092281, DK54021 and P30DK34989), and the Veterans Merit Awards.
More details on the experiment and the pathways that were defined by this study can be found at: DOI 10.1053/j.gastro.2014.03.014
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