Resveratrol may be an effective intervention for lung aging

February 22, 2017, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Lung tissue. Credit: Children's Hospital Los Angeles

In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative changes in mouse lung. Lung aging, characterized by airspace enlargement and decreasing lung function, is a significant risk factor for chronic human lung diseases. The study is published online in the journal Thorax.

"We believe that ours is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect of lung-directed resveratrol treatments on aging lung function," said Driscoll.

Resveratrol (RSL), a chemical found in red wine, is an antimicrobial chemical substance produced by plants to protect against infection and stress-related changes. It has previously been shown to support muscle metabolism when delivered orally.

RSL prophylaxis by inhalation was a novel measure taken by the research team as a potential approach for slowing age-related deterioration of lung function and structure by preserving alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AEC2) which line alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs through which the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place) and produce surfactant which is vital for efficient breathing.

In healthy young adults, breathing is an essential, efficient process, but natural aging of the lung occurs at a steady and irreversible rate, as measured by a decline in lung function. This natural deterioration leads to a significantly reduced quality of life, over a time frame dependent on genetic and environmental factors. Although some available therapies can ameliorate symptoms, aging-related lung failure is generally irreversible and is accompanied by high rates of morbidity and mortality due to increased disease risk, including development of COPD, with accompanying emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Using a rapidly aging mouse model, the research team investigated whether the accumulation of age-related degenerative changes in the lung could be slowed by inhaled RSL. Treatment cohorts received either RSL or vehicle by intratracheal (IT) instillation monthly for three months. One month following the final treatment, whole lung function and injury-related gene expression in AEC2 were assessed.

The research team found that inhaled, prophylactic resveratrol treatments can slow the rate of decline, alveolar enlargement and alveolar epithelial type 2 cell DNA damage that occurs in the early stages of lung aging. They concluded that administration of resveratrol directly to the lungs may be an effective intervention for lung aging, which is a significant risk factor for development of .

"While the natural deterioration of the human lung generally occurs over decades, the injury to is analogous to the cell damage that occurs in premature infants who experience respiratory distress before their lungs have fully developed," added Driscoll. "Identifying a way to protect and strengthen young lungs before significant damage occurs is the goal of our research."

Explore further: Infant lung function a predictor of adult asthma

More information: Sonia Navarro et al, Inhaled resveratrol treatments slow ageing-related degenerative changes in mouse lung, Thorax (2017). DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-208964

Related Stories

Infant lung function a predictor of adult asthma

January 30, 2017
A new study by The University of Western Australia has found that reduced lung function in infants is an accurate predictor of persistent asthma in young adults.

Researchers create promising new mouse model for lung injury repair

July 28, 2015
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and The Saban Research Institute of CHLA have created a dynamic functional mouse model for lung injury repair, a tool that will help scientists explain the origins of lung disease ...

Does moderate wine consumption improve lung function?

March 8, 2012
A research team from the Netherlands assessed the impact of wine and resveratrol (a natural polyphenol found in high quantities in red wine) on lung function. It also looked at genetic factors and mechanisms by which resveratrol ...

Rac1 protein critical for lung development

October 20, 2016
A study by researchers from The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles reveals a promising therapeutic target for improving lung function in infants. Their study, now published online by the American ...

Scientists unlock genetic code of diseased lung cells to find new treatments for IPF

December 8, 2016
Researchers cracked the complete genetic code of individual cells in healthy and diseased human lung tissues to find potential new molecular targets for diagnosing and treating the lethal lung disease Idiopathic Pulmonary ...

Team discovers lung regeneration mechanism

November 12, 2014
A research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professors Frank McKeon, Ph.D., and Wa Xian, Ph.D., reports on the role of certain lung stem cells in regenerating lungs damaged by disease.

Recommended for you

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.