A recent study showed that an inexpensive and readily available amino acid could limit the impact of “Covid-19” and provide a new treatment option for infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants.
The clinical study, which was conducted in mice that form a model of human Covid-19, led by researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, according to a research paper published in the journal Frontiers. . in Immunology An amino acid called GABA, available over the counter in many countries, reduces disease severity, lung viral load, and mortality in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice.
These results come on the heels of an earlier discovery that GABA consumption also protects mice from the coronavirus, which is another killer called MHV-1.
In both cases, GABA was effective when administered immediately after infection or a few days after the peak of virus production.
The protective effects of GABA against two different types of coronaviruses indicate that GABA may provide a versatile therapy that helps treat diseases caused by new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and new beta viruses.
Lead investigator Daniel L. Kaufman, researcher and professor of molecular pharmacology and medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said: “Variants of SARS-CoV-2 and new coronaviruses will continue to emerge, and they may not be effective.” controlled by available vaccines and antivirals. Therefore, the production of new vaccines is likely to be much slower than the spread of new variants.”
Accordingly, new treatment options are needed to reduce the severity of this infection. Previous studies have shown that GABA treatment protects mice from developing serious diseases after being infected with a mouse coronavirus called MHV-1.
To more closely test GABA’s potential as a treatment for COVID-19, they studied genetically engineered mice that develop severe pneumonia with high mortality when infected with SARS-CoV-2.
says L. Kaufman: “If our observations of the protective effect of GABA treatment in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 are confirmed in clinical trials, GABA could be a viable therapy to help mitigate infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Notably, GABA is inexpensive and stable at room temperature, making it widely available and readily available, which is especially beneficial in developing countries.
The researchers say that GABA and GABA receptors are often seen as the main neurotransmitter system in the brain.
Many years ago, they and other researchers discovered that cells of the immune system also possess GABA receptors, and that activation of these receptors suppresses the inflammatory actions of immune cells. Taking advantage of this property, researchers in a series of studies reported that GABA administration prevents autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis in mouse models of these diseases.
Other scientists studying gas anesthetics have found that lung epithelial cells also possess GABA receptors, and that drugs that activate these receptors can reduce lung damage and inflammation in the lungs.
The dual effects of GABA on inflammatory immune cells and lung epithelial cells, as well as its safety for clinical use, have made GABA a theoretically attractive candidate for reducing excessive immune responses and lung damage due to MERS-CoV infection.
In this study, the University of California research team, working with colleagues at the University of Southern California, administered GABA to mice immediately after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, or two days later when virus levels are nearing their peak in the mice’s lungs. .
While the vast majority of untreated mice did not survive this infection, those who received GABA immediately after infection or two days later experienced lower disease severity and lower mortality during the study.
The treated mice also showed lower levels of virus in the lungs and changes in circulating immune signaling molecules known as cytokines and chemokines, towards patterns associated with better outcomes in Covid-19 patients.
The researchers hope their new results will be the starting point for testing the effectiveness of GABA therapy in clinical trials in patients with Covid-9. Because GABA has an excellent safety record, is inexpensive, and is available worldwide, clinical trials for treating COVID-19 with GABA can begin quickly.
Researchers also suspect that the anti-inflammatory properties of GABA receptor activators may also be useful in reducing inflammation in the central nervous system associated with long-term Covid-19.
In fact, this approach has been very successful in their previous research into the treatment of multiple sclerosis in mice, a disease caused by an inflammatory autoimmune response in the brain.
Source: Medical Express