A compound found in the herb Verbena officinalis, called verbenalin, has shown potential therapeutic benefits in the treatment of acute lung injury (ALI) and sepsis, according to a recent study. ALI and its severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), are serious conditions that can cause inflammation and damage to vital organs, including the lungs. The study found that verbenalin, which directly binds to the GPR18 receptor, can help mitigate inflammation associated with these conditions.
Researchers conducted a study to investigate the pharmacological effects of verbenalin in treating sepsis and ALI induced by immune complexes. The results showed that verbenalin significantly improved the survival rate of septic mice and reduced lung tissue damage. This was achieved by activating the GPR18 receptor, which promotes the regression of inflammation. The study also identified a signaling axis involving C/EBP-δ, GSDMD, and GSDME, which plays a crucial role in alveolar macrophage pyroptosis induced by immune complexes.
The use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in treating ALI has been well-recognized, and one TCM formulation, Xuanfeibaidu (XFBD) granules, has gained attention in the management of COVID-19. XFBD granules contain Verbena officinalis, which has shown a protective effect against lung injury caused by the coronavirus. Verbenalin, a bioactive compound in Verbena officinalis, has also demonstrated its potential in mitigating acute lung inflammation caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa through GPR18 receptors.
This study provides compelling evidence for the therapeutic potential of verbenalin in the treatment of ALI and sepsis. By selectively targeting the GPR18 receptor, verbenalin promotes the regression of inflammation, offering hope for patients with these life-threatening conditions. Additionally, the study expands our understanding of the complex signaling pathways involved in ALI, opening up possibilities for future therapeutic targets. Verbenalin derived from Verbena officinalis may prove to be a significant advancement in the field of acute lung injury therapy, providing a much-needed solution for patients battling this condition.
The study findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Cellular Signalling, further validating the significance of the research.