Prophylactic Palmitoylethanolamide Prolongs Survival and Decreases Detrimental Inflammation in Aged Mice With Bacterial Meningitis.
Front Immunol. 2018 ;9:2671. Epub 2018 Nov 16. PMID: 30505308
Ev Christin Heide
Easy-to-achieve interventions to promote healthy longevity are desired to diminish the incidence and severity of infections, as well as associated disability upon recovery. The dietary supplement palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) exerts anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Here, we investigated the effect of prophylactic PEA on the early immune response, clinical course, and survival of old mice after intracerebralK1 infection. Nineteen-month-old wild type mice were treated intraperitoneally with two doses of either 0.1 mg PEA/kg in 250μl vehicle solution (= 19) or with 250μl vehicle solution only as controls (= 19), 12 h and 30 min prior to intracerebralK1 infection. The intraperitoneal route was chosen to reduce distress in mice and to ensure exact dosing. Survival time, bacterial loads in cerebellum, blood, spleen, liver, and microglia counts and activation scores in the brain were evaluated. We measured the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, MIP-1α, and CXCL1 in cerebellum and spleen, as well as of bioactive lipids in serum in PEA- and vehicle-treated animals 24 h after infection. In the absence of antibiotic therapy, the median survival time of PEA-pre-treated infected mice was prolonged by 18 h compared to mice of the vehicle-pre-treated infected group (= 0.031). PEA prophylaxis delayed the onset of clinical symptoms (= 0.037). This protective effect was associated with lower bacterial loads in the spleen, liver, and blood compared to those of vehicle-injected animals (≤ 0.037). PEA-pre-treated animals showed diminished levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in spleen 24 h after infection, as well as reduced serum concentrations of arachidonic acid and of one of its metabolites, 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. In the brain, prophylactic PEA tendedto reduce bacterial titers and attenuated microglial activation in aged infected animals (= 0.042). Our findings suggest that prophylactic PEA can counteract infection associated detrimental responses in old animals. Accordingly, PEA treatment slowed the onset of infection symptoms and prolonged the survival of old infected mice. In a clinical setting, prophylactic administration of PEA might extend the potential therapeutic window where antibiotic therapy can be initiated to rescue elderly patients.