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Pharmacological (or Synthetic) and Nutritional Agonists of PPAR-γ as Candidates for Cytokine Storm Modulation in COVID-19 Disease

Laboratory of Clinical Pathology, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy
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Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092076
Received: 2 April 2020 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 29 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
The cytokine storm is an abnormal production of inflammatory cytokines, due to the over-activation of the innate immune response. This mechanism has been recognized as a critical mediator of influenza-induced lung disease, and it could be pivotal for COVID-19 infections. Thus, an immunomodulatory approach targeting the over-production of cytokines could be proposed for viral aggressive pulmonary disease treatment. In this regard, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ, a member of the PPAR transcription factor family, could represent a potential target. Beside the well-known regulatory role on lipid and glucose metabolism, PPAR-γ also represses the inflammatory process. Similarly, the PPAR-γ agonist thiazolidinediones (TZDs), like pioglitazone, are anti-inflammatory drugs with ameliorating effects on severe viral pneumonia. In addition to the pharmacological agonists, also nutritional ligands of PPAR-γ, like curcuma, lemongrass, and pomegranate, possess anti-inflammatory properties through PPAR-γ activation. Here, we review the main synthetic and nutritional PPAR-γ ligands, proposing a dual approach based on the strengthening of the immune system using pharmacological and dietary strategies as an attempt to prevent/treat cytokine storm in the case of coronavirus infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: cytokine storm; PPAR-γ; metabolism; inflammation; PPAR-γ agonists; coronavirus infection cytokine storm; PPAR-γ; metabolism; inflammation; PPAR-γ agonists; coronavirus infection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ciavarella, C.; Motta, I.; Valente, S.; Pasquinelli, G. Pharmacological (or Synthetic) and Nutritional Agonists of PPAR-γ as Candidates for Cytokine Storm Modulation in COVID-19 Disease. Molecules 2020, 25, 2076.

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