Blackcurrant anthocyanins modulate CCL11 secretion and suppress allergic airway inflammation

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CCL11, a chemokine, is linked to the early development of airways eosinophilia in allergic asthma. Therefore, CCL11 production is a target for abrogating eosinophilic-driven airway inflammation. Blackcurrants are high in compounds that regulate inflammation, particularly anthocyanins. In this study, we investigated the effect of oral blackcurrant supplementation on allergen-induced eosinophilia and CCL11 production; we also profiled key compounds in blackcurrants that were linked to this effect. Ten milligram per kilogram (total anthocyanins) of a commercially available, anthocyanin-rich New Zealand “Ben Ard” blackcurrant extract (“Currantex 30”) attenuated ovalbumin-induced inflammation, eosinophilia (by 52.45 ± 38.50%), and CCL11 production (by 48.55 ± 28.56%) in a mouse model of acute allergic lung inflammation. Ten blackcurrant polyphenolic extracts were also found to suppress CCL11 secretion by stimulated human lung epithelial cells in vitro. Correlation analysis identified potential blackcurrant polyphenolic anthocyanin constituents specifically delphinidins and cyanidins, involved in CCL11 suppression. Our findings show oral supplementation with New Zealand blackcurrant is effective in reducing lung inflammation, and highlight the potential benefit of developing cultivars with specific polyphenolic profiles for the creation of functional foods with desirable biological activity.

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