New research from the University of Pennsylvania revealed insight into the role of thiocyanate in the development of cystic fibrosis and other inflammation linked disorders.

In the study, the research team hypothesized that because CFTR mutations are related to the absence of adequate SCN? levels in CF patients, there is an overproduction of the harmful OCl? compound, which results in the severe lung injuries associated with the disease.

Using a human lung epithelial cell line, researchers found that the dysfunctional myeloperoxidase process in CF indeed causes severe cell injury and death through the production of OCl?. Conversely, the team reported that when SCN? is present in appropriate levels, it is capable of preventing damage to lung cells, and also protects cells against the potentially dangerous H2O2.

When tested in three other mouse and human cell lines (arterial cells, neuronal cells and pancreatic cells) that are relevant for inflammation-related disorders, SCN? at concentrations of 100 ?M or higher was able to strongly mitigate the cytotoxicity of MPO.

Humans can obtain the natural antioxidant SCN? from edible plants, and the ion levels in the general population ranges from 10 to 140 ?M.

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