Oral NaHCO3 Activates a Splenic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway: Evidence That Cholinergic Signals Are Transmitted via Mesothelial Cells
To examine the effects of NaHCO3 on acute changes in parasympathetic activity, 12 healthy participants (six men, six women, age 27 ± 2 y, body mass index [BMI] 25.3 ± 1.2 kg/m2) were provided 2 g of NaHCO3 dissolved in 250 ml of bottled water (treatment [TXT] group). An additional six participants (four men, two women, age 25 ± 1, BMI 25.7 ± 2.1 kg/m2) were recruited as controls and were provided 1.39 g of NaCl (equivalent molar load to 2 g of NaHCO3) dissolved in 250 ml of bottled water (CON group)
The first major finding of our study is that oral NaHCO3 promotes a powerful anti-inflammatory response including M1 to M2 macrophage polarization and increased FOXP3+ CD4+ T regulatory cells (Tregs) within the spleen.
There was a significant group by time interaction for changes in serum potassium (p = 0.029, η2P = 0.279). Specifically, serum potassium decreased with NaHCO3 treatment (p = 0.008), but there was no change with NaCl treatment
In summary, we report that oral NaHCO3 activates splenic anti-inflammatory pathways in both rats and humans.