Effect of a fermented nutraceutical on thioredoxin level and TNF-alpha signalling in cirrhotic patients

J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2011 Jan-Mar;25(1):37-45.

Marotta F, Chui DH, Jain S, Polimeni A, Koike K, Zhou L, Lorenzetti A, Shimizu H, Yang H.

ReGenera Research Group for Aging-Intervention, Milan, Italy.

The aim of this study is to gain further insights into the possible nutraceutical effect on redox balance via thioredoxin (Trx) modulation and on the intrinsic susceptibility of monocytes to generate an inflammatory response. The study group consisted of thirty-two patients with compensated Child A-C, HCV-related cirrhosis. The patients were supplemented for 6 months with 6g/day of a certified fermented papaya preparation (FPP). Fifteen unsupplemented, age/gender-matched healthy subjects served as controls. The patients filled in a detailed diet-life style questionnaire, and blood samples were collected to test routine biochemistry, Trx, redox status (GSH, GSSG, GSH/GSSG ratio, 4-HNE and alpha-tocopherol). Moreover, isolated monocytes were tested for ex-vivo LPS-stimulated TNF-alpha production and TNF-alpha mRNA. As compared to control, patients with liver cirrhosis showed a significantly higher serum level of Trx. A significant correlation occurred with GSH/GSSG ratio in Child B and C patients. FPP supplementation brought about a significant reduction of Trx with levels comparable to the ones of healthy controls. Ten patients Child C (31.2 percent) showed borderline low levels of alpha-tocopherol while all cirrhotic patients, as a whole, showed a significantly abnormal redox balance. Supplementation with FPP did not modify alpha-tocopherol depletion but significantly improved redox balance parameters. Patients with liver cirrhosis showed a significantly upregulated TNF-alpha production in a time-dependent manner and this effect was more pronounced in more advanced stages of the disease and showed a significant correlation with alpha-tocopherol level. Supplementation with FPP significantly, although partially, downregulated TNF-alpha production from monocytes. Taken altogether, it would appear that the typical oxidative-inflammatory biochemical milieu of these patients is mirrored by a significant TNF-alpha upregulation at a monocyte level while a targeted nutraceutical might be a potentially amenable intervention to be part of validated scheduled treatments.