Introduction

Fever, a common symptom that arises during the body’s response to infection or illness, has garnered much attention in pharmacological research due to its impact on patient comfort and potentially detrimental effects if left unmanaged. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with its extensive history, has provided a plethora of bioactive compounds beneficial for various diseases, including those that manifest with fever. Tetrastigma hemsleyanum, a perennial plant well-regarded in TCM for its antipyretic and detoxifying effects, presents an intriguing subject for scientific interrogation regarding its antipyretic mechanisms. A breakthrough study recently published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology delved into the mechanisms behind the antipyretic effects of Tetrastigma hemsleyanum polysaccharide (THP), providing critical insights and novel treatment approaches for fever management.

Study Overview

In a study published 2024 January 17, conducted by a research team led by Fu Siyu from the School of Medical Technology and Information Engineering, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, and other co-authors (Bao Xiaodan, Wang Zhejiong, Tang Youying, Wu Qian, Zhu Bingqi, Zhou Fangmei, Ding Zhishan), revealed the impact of inhaled THP on mice with yeast-induced pyrexia (fever) and its underlying mechanisms of modulating the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway, known for its role in inflammation and immune responses.

Methodology

Meticulously designed experiments employed dry yeast to induce pyrexia in mice, subsequently treating them with aerosolized THP. Rectal temperatures were monitored at multiple time intervals, and inflammatory damage was assessed via histopathological evaluation and inflammatory indices. In-depth biochemical analyses including variations in central neurotransmitters, endocrine system metrics, and substance and energy metabolism indicators unveiled physiological implications of the treatment. Advanced techniques such as quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot, and Immunohistochemistry pinpointed the modulation of the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway by THP administration.

Results

The core findings demonstrated that THP efficiently lowered body temperature in febrile mice and reduced thermogenic cytokines. Pathological damage in the liver and hypothalamus was alleviated, and secretion levels of thyroid hormone along with substance and energy metabolic indicators decreased. Most notably, THP significantly suppressed TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway-related indicators.

Conclusion

This research critically illustrated that inhaled THP, with its potent suppression of the TLR4/NF-κB pathway, offers an antipyretic effect through multiple physiological dimensions, including modulation of thermoregulatory mediators and reduction of pyrogenic factor content, thereby normalizing the heightened metabolic status associated with fever. The data set fortifies the pharmacodynamic basis for employing polysaccharides in the management of fever and related conditions.

Copyright Statement:
Copyright © 2024 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Study Specifics

The study was published on January 11, 2024, in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology and has been assigned the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/j.jep.2024.117732. The article reference number is S0378-8741(24)00032-1.

Declaration of Competing Interest:
The research team has declared no competing financial interests or personal relationships that could influence the work reported in this article.

Keywords

1. Tetrastigma hemsleyanum antipyretic
2. THP and fever reduction
3. TLR4 NF-kB pathway inflammation
4. Polysaccharide fever therapy
5. Traditional Chinese Medicine fever cure

References

1. Fu, S., Bao, X., Wang, Z., Tang, Y., Wu, Q., Zhu, B., … Ding, Z. (2024). Antipyretic effect of inhaled Tetrastigma hemsleyanum polysaccharide on substance and energy metabolism in yeast-induced pyrexia mice via TLR4/NF-κb signaling pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 323, 117732. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2024.117732

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