A Combination of α-Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) Blocks Endotoxin-Induced Oxidative Stress and Cytokine Storm: A Possible Intervention for COVID-19

Background

The global scientific community is striving to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms and develop effective therapeutic strategies for COVID-19. Despite overwhelming data, there is limited knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in the prominent cytokine storm syndrome and multiple organ failure and fatality in COVID-19 cases.

Aim

The aim of this work is to investigate the possible role of of α-lipoic acid (ALA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), in countering the mechanisms in overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inflammatory cytokines.

Methods

An in vitro model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human epithelial lung cells that mimics the pathogen-associated molecular pattern and reproduces the cell signaling pathways in cytokine storm syndrome has been used. In this model of acute lung injury, the combination effects of ALAPEA, administered before and after LPS injury, were investigated.

Results

Our data demonstrated that a combination of 50 µM ALA + 5 µM PEA can reduce ROS and nitric oxide (NO) levels modulating the major cytokines involved on COVID-19 infection when administered either before or after LPS-induced damage. The best outcome was observed when administered after LPS, thus reinforcing the hypothesis that ALA combined with PEA to modulate the key point of cytokine storm syndrome.

Conclusion

This work supports for the first time that the combination of ALA with PEA may represent a novel intervention strategy to counteract inflammatory damage related to COVID-19 by restoring the cascade activation of the immune response and acting as a powerful antioxidant.

Reference:

Uberti F, Ruga S, Farghali M, Galla R, Molinari C. A Combination of α-Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) Blocks Endotoxin-Induced Oxidative Stress and Cytokine Storm: A Possible Intervention for COVID-19. J Diet Suppl. 2021 Aug 18:1-23. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2021.1966152. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34405764.


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