What is it about?

Infections by intracellular pathogens are characterized by an imbalance in the Th1/Th2 immune response in favor of the Th2. This condition favors microbial survival/replication. Glutathione (GSH) has been described to influence the macrophage immune response: GSH depletion impairs the ability of macrophages to process antigens and to secrete IL-12, leading to polarization towards Th2 response patterns. Moreover, high GSH levels can directly interfere with the replication of different pathogens. Hence, molecules able to increase GSH levels have been proposed as new tools to more effectively hinder different pathogens by acting as both immunomodulators and antimicrobials.

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Why is it important?

Because GSH-replenishing molecules could be proposed as new compounds for the treatment of microbial infections and as Th1 adjuvants in new vaccination protocols. Moreover, the mechanism(s) by which the pathogens can weaken macrophage immune response could be elucidated.

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This page is a summary of: Glutathione and glutathione derivatives in immunotherapy, Biological Chemistry, January 2017, De Gruyter,
DOI: 10.1515/hsz-2016-0202.
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