Emerging antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria is an issue of great clinical importance, and new approaches to therapy are urgently needed. Anacardic acid, the primary active component of cashew nut shell extract, is a natural product used in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions, including infectious abscesses. Here, we investigate the effects of this natural product on the function of human neutrophils. We find that anacardic acid stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species and neutrophil extracellular traps, two mechanisms utilized by neutrophils to kill invading bacteria. Molecular modeling and pharmacological inhibitor studies suggest anacardic acid stimulation of neutrophils occurs in a PI3K-dependent manner through activation of surface-expressed G protein-coupled sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors. Neutrophil extracellular traps produced in response to anacardic acid are bactericidal and complement select direct antimicrobial activities of the compound.
A. Hollands, Corriden, R., Gysler, G., Dahesh, S., Olson, J., Ali, S. Raza, Kunkel, M. T., Lin, A. E., Forli, S., Newton, A. C., Kumar, G. B., Dr. Bipin G. Nair, J Perry, J. P., and Nizet, V., “Natural Product Anacardic Acid from Cashew Nut Shells Stimulates Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Production and Bactericidal Activity.”, Journal of Biological Chemistry, jbc-M115., 2016.