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Antibiotics are still the primary therapy for acute pyelonephritis (APN); rarely, natural polyphenols are also used. LM49 is a novel marine bromophenol derivative displaying strong anti-inflammatory effects. We investigated the therapeutic efficacy of LM49 in an experimental rat model of APN. The model was established by injecting 0.5 mL Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922, 108 CFU/mL) into the urinary bladders of Sprague Dawley rats. This model showed increased kidney viscera indices and renal bacterial growth scores, as well as pathological changes in kidneys. We also performed a broth microdilution antimicrobial susceptibility test of the E. coli strain. Both norfloxacin and LM49 treatment reduced kidney viscera indices and decreased microbial counts in urine cultures and kidney homogenates in APN rats. However, in vitro experiments showed that LM49 did not directly inhibit bacteria. Rather, LM49 treatment inhibited inflammatory cell infiltration or abscess and improved tissue lesions in the renal medullary junction, renal pelvis, and calyx, and high-dose LM49 treatment inhibited the production of inflammatory interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum. CD4+ T cells were higher in the LM49 groups treated with high, medium, and low doses than in the model group, whereas only high-dose LM49 treatment increased the number of CD8+ T cells, as compared with that in the model group. However, LM49 treatment did not influence hematological parameters. Our results show that LM49 therapeutic effects in an APN animal model may be achieved by regulating immune responses and inhibiting inflammatory mediators, suggesting it as a candidate APN treatment.This is the first report on polyphenol LM49 as a therapy for acute pyelonephritis.LM49 inhibits inflammatory cytokines and regulates immune responses.LM49 is a novel candidate to treat acute pyelonephritis.