Has anyone tried this for severe Corona cases?
February 12, 2007
…………….But immunologist Luis Ulloa has found that it can also reverse the condition called sepsis, which kills some 250,000 Americans a year.
We all know nicotine as the addictive substance that gets people hooked on cigarettes, which can kill you. But as this ScienCentral News video explains, now nicotine could also be a tool in defeating one of the leading causes of death in the developed world.
Putting Out the Fire
The nicotine that gets people hooked on cigarettes can be implicated in hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year. But immunologist Luis Ulloa has found that it can also reverse the condition called sepsis, which kills some 250,000 Americans a year.
Typically, when your body responds to an infection, immune cells send out chemical messengers called cytokines. Some of these cytokines force your blood to clot, which ensures that the threatening material doesn’t spread throughout the body.
Usually sparked by trauma or a bacterial infection, sepsis is when this immune response goes into overdrive. Ulloa explains, “Your immune system becomes very strong, [and it] wants to protect your body at any cost.”
People in the early stages of sepsis may feel confused, have a fever and rapid heart rate, and develop a rash. Sepsis is often confused with other conditions, Ulloa says, and treating the underlying infection with antibiotics misses the root of the problem. “It’s your own immune response who is killing you,” he explains. “So your own immune response becomes so strong that it’s attacking the cardiovascular system and it’s able to cause multiple organ failure.”
Previous studies showed that smokers are less prone to another disease of the immune system, ulcerative colitis. This inflammatory disease attacks the digestive system, but was found to affect a disproportionate number of non-smokers.
This led Ulloa and his team at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research to study nicotine as an anti-inflammatory for sepsis. He discovered that nicotine grabs immune cells and prevents them from spewing inflammatory cytokines throughout the body.
In laboratory tests it was able to reverse sepsis in mice. After inducing sepsis, researchers waited until the mice became sick to inject the nicotine. It worked: many of the mice, Ulloa says, got better within 24 hours. He says that this experiment closely replicates how sepsis could be treated in the real world, “because for patients, you can’t predict when someone will go into sepsis. So you have to develop different experimental strategies to be able to rescue the patient.”
Ulloa found how nicotine can be used against sepsis by calming down the inflammatory particles in the body.
While nicotine is useful in the laboratory, Ulloa stresses this is no endorsement of smoking. “It was very interesting to find out that nicotine have a strong anti-inflammatory potential,” he says. “However, the clinical problem [is that] you can never use nicotine. There are so many toxic effects.”
“When you’re smoking, you may have some small beneficial effect from nicotine, but you still have another thousand chemical products that is killing your body,” says Ulloa.
But since his team also found the specific receptor on immune cells that nicotine latches onto, researchers can now see if drugs that work like nicotine can help battle the fires within.
Other researchers are currently working with one nicotine-like drug, originally developed to fight Alzheimer’s, to treat inflammation. This drug, named GTS-21, was found to be ineffective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s because it wasn’t able to penetrate the brain. But Ulloa says that it has great potential as an anti-inflammatory, since it can avoid the brain and target other parts of the body.
Ulloa’s research was featured in the June 2006 Scientific American magazine, August 2005 Nature, and November 2004 Nature Medicine. His research is funded by the Faculty Awards Program of the North Shore Health System, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish General Clinical Research Center, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.