According to a research, eating cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbage may lessen the severity of lung infection.
AHR, or the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, is a protein that has been discovered by Francis Crick Institute researchers to be present at barrier areas like the gut and the lung.
These cruciferous vegetables’ natural compounds function as dietary ‘ligands’ for AHR, which means that when consumed, they cause AHR to target a variety of genes. Some of the targeted genes disable the AHR system, enabling it to regulate itself.
The impact of AHR on immune cells is well known, but new study published in the journal Nature reveals that endothelial cells lining blood veins in the lung also exhibit significant levels of AHR activity.
Only two layers—one of endothelial cells and one of epithelial cells—make up the lung barrier between the body and the outside air because it must let oxygen to enter.
But the defense must remain robust against contamination, viruses, and bacteria.
“Up until recently, immune cells were the primary focus of our research on barrier defense. According to Andreas Wack, group leader of the Crick’s Immunoregulation Laboratory, “We have now demonstrated that AHR is critical for maintaining a robust barrier in the lungs through the endothelial cell layer, which is disturbed during infection.
When sick, people may not eat properly, preventing them from getting the compounds in vegetables this system needs. Cruciferous vegetables are healthy in general, but this study shows how important they are while unwell.
The scientists used a number of mouse tests to demonstrate how AHR affects lung barriers.
Blood was discovered in the lungs of mice that had been exposed to the flu virus because it had breached the compromised barrier. When AHR was overactivated, the researchers saw less blood in the lung gaps, demonstrating that AHR was able to stop the barrier from becoming leaky.
Additionally, they discovered that mice with increased AHR activity were less likely to lose weight after contracting the flu and fared better against a secondary bacterial infection.
More blood and immune cells were seen in the air gaps of infected animals whose lung endothelial cells were blocked from expressing AHR, indicating more barrier degradation.
Additionally, the researchers demonstrated that influenza infection reduces protective lung AHR activity, but only in mice whose diets contained AHR ligands prior to becoming ill.
These results establish a causal relationship between food intake and AHR activity and viral infection outcomes: sick infected mice consumed less food, which decreased their intake of AHR ligands and decreased the activity of the AHR system, which increased lung damage.
It was advantageous for mice to be on an AHR ligand-rich diet despite the infection-driven lowering of AHR activity because these mice had greater barrier integrity and less lung damage during infection than mice on the control diet.
These findings suggest that AHR protects the lung barrier, which is weakened by infection but may be strengthened with the appropriate diet.
Research suggests that cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, may reduce the severity of lung infections. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) protein, discovered by Francis Crick Institute researchers, targets genes in the gut and lung. Consuming these vegetables can activate AHR, which targets various genes, allowing the system to regulate itself. The lung barrier, consisting of endothelial and epithelial cells, is crucial for maintaining a robust barrier against contamination, viruses, and bacteria. The study found that AHR is critical for maintaining a robust barrier in the lungs through the endothelial cell layer, which is disturbed during infection. Consuming cruciferous vegetables during illness is essential for maintaining healthy diets and consuming the necessary chemicals. The findings suggest that AHR protects the lung barrier, which is weakened by infection but can be strengthened with an appropriate diet.