Yale researchers have found that the lactate component of a common saline solution used in hospitals may have anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce injury to major organs.
The finding has clinical implications for the treatment of pancreatitis, kidney injury, strokes, and even heart attacks. The study is published online in the journal Gastroenterology.
The researchers induced acute pancreatitis or hepatitis in various mouse models.
They then injected a portion of the mice with sodium lactate, which is a component of fluids often given intravenously to patients in hospitals to maintain proper blood pH levels.
The sodium lactate reduced the activation of toll-like receptors, components of the innate immune system that recognise foreign pathogens and launch the immune system's inflammatory cascade of responses.
In reducing activation of this signalling pathway, the researchers found that the entire inflammatory cascade was limited, reducing tissue and organ injury in the mice.
''Because the lactate reduced inflammation and organ injury, we believe that it could provide an appealing therapeutic tool in the treatment of patients with acute organ injury, including those who have had heart attacks,'' said Rafaz Hoque, MD, assistant professor of digestive diseases at Yale School of Medicine.
Other authors are Ahmad Farooq, Ayaz Ghani, Fred Gorelick, and Wajahat Mehal of Yale School of Medicine.