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More MS news articles for May 2003

Flavonoids may be able to decrease myelin phagocytosis by macrophages

May 7, 2003
Immunotherapy Weekly

Flavonoids with specific stereochemistry are able to decrease the amount of
demyelination produced by macrophages.

According to recent research published in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, "Demyelination is a characteristic hallmark of the neuroinflammatory disease multiple sclerosis. During demyelination, macrophages phagocytose myelin and secrete inflammatory mediators that worsen the disease. Here, we investigated whether flavonoids, naturally occurring immunomodulating compounds, are able to influence myelin phagocytosis by macrophages in vitro.

"The flavonoids luteolin, quercetin and fisetin most significantly decreased the amount of myelin phagocytosed by a macrophage cell line without affecting its viability. IC50 values for these compounds ranged from 20-80 microM.

"The flavonoid structure appeared to be essential for observed effects as flavonoids containing hydroxyl groups at the B-3 and B-4 positions in combination with a C-2,3 double bond were most effective.

"The capacity of the various flavonoids to inhibit phagocytosis correlated well with their potency as antioxidants, which is in line with the requirement of reactive oxygen species for the phagocytosis of myelin by macrophages," wrote J.J.A. Hendriks and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: "Our results imply that flavonoids may be able to limit the demyelination process during multiple sclerosis."

Hendriks and colleagues published their study in Biochemical Pharmacology (Flavonoids inhibit myelin phagocytosis by macrophages; a structure-activity relationship study. Biochem Pharmacol, 2003;65(5):877-885).

For additional information, contact J.J.A. Hendriks, Free University of Amsterdam, Med Center, Department Molecular Cell Biology, Van der Boechorststr 7, NL-1081 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The publisher's contact information for the journal Biochemical Pharmacology is: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd., the Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Immunology and Neurology.

This article was prepared by Immunotherapy Weekly editors from staff and other reports.

© Copyright 2003 Immunotherapy Weekly