LJ-2698, an Adenosine A3 Receptor Antagonist, Alleviates Elastase-Induced Pulmonary Emphysema in Mice.
ABSTRACT: Emphysema, a major component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a leading cause of human death worldwide. The progressive deterioration of lung function that occurs in the disease is caused by chronic inflammation of the airway and destruction of the lung parenchyma. Despite the main impact of inflammation on the pathogenesis of emphysema, current therapeutic regimens mainly offer symptomatic relief and preservation of lung function with little therapeutic impact. In the present study, we aimed to discover novel therapeutics that suppress the pathogenesis of emphysema. Here, we show that LJ-2698, a novel and highly selective antagonist of the adenosine A3 receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor involved in various inflammatory diseases, significantly reversed the elastase-induced destructive changes in murine lungs. We found that LJ-2698 significantly prevented elastase-induced airspace enlargement, resulting in restoration of pulmonary function without causing any obvious changes in body weight in mice. LJ-2698 was found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase activity and pulmonary cell apoptosis in the murine lung. LJ-2698 treatment induced increases in anti-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages at doses that displayed no significant cytotoxicity in normal cell lines derived from various organs. Treatment with LJ-2698 significantly increased the number of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in the lungs. These results implicate the adenosine A3 receptor in the pathogenesis of emphysema. Our findings also demonstrate the potential of LJ-2698 as a novel therapeutic/preventive agent in suppressing disease development with limited toxicity.
Project description:Extracellular superoxide dismutase (ECSOD or SOD3) is highly expressed in lungs and functions as a scavenger of O(2)(*-). ECM fragmentation, which can be triggered by oxidative stress, participates in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through attracting inflammatory cells into the lungs. The level of SOD3 is significantly decreased in lungs of patients with COPD. However, the role of endogenous SOD3 in the development/progression of emphysema is unknown. We hypothesized that SOD3 protects against emphysema by attenuating oxidative fragmentation of ECM in mice. To test this hypothesis, SOD3-deficient, SOD3-transgenic, and WT C57BL/6J mice were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS) for 3 d (300 mg total particulate matter/m(3)) to 6 mo (100 mg/m(3) total particulate matter) or by intratracheal elastase injection. Airspace enlargement, lung inflammation, lung mechanical properties, and exercise tolerance were determined at different time points during CS exposure or after elastase administration. CS exposure and elastase administration caused airspace enlargement as well as impaired lung function and exercise capacity in SOD3-null mice, which were improved in mice overexpressing SOD3 and by pharmacological SOD mimetic. These phenomena were associated with SOD3-mediated protection against oxidative fragmentation of ECM, such as heparin sulfate and elastin, thereby attenuating lung inflammatory response. In conclusion, SOD3 attenuates emphysema and reduces oxidative fragmentation of ECM in mouse lung. Thus, pharmacological augmentation of SOD3 in the lung may have a therapeutic potential in the intervention of COPD/emphysema.
Project description:Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease, and the current pharmacological treatment for DKD is limited to renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors. Adenosine is detectable in the kidney and is significantly elevated in response to cellular damage. While all 4 known subtypes of adenosine receptors, namely, A1AR, A2aAR, A2bAR, and A3AR, are expressed in the kidney, our previous study has demonstrated that a novel, orally active, species-independent, and selective A3AR antagonist, LJ-1888, ameliorates unilateral ureteral obstruction-induced tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The present study examined the protective effects of LJ-2698, which has higher affinity and selectivity for A3AR than LJ-1888, on DKD. In experiment I, dose-dependent effects of LJ-2698 were examined by orally administering 1.5, 5, or 10?mg/kg for 12 weeks to 8-week-old db/db mice. In experiment II, the effects of LJ-2698 (10?mg/kg) were compared to those of losartan (1.5?mg/kg), which is a standard treatment for patients with DKD. LJ-2698 effectively prevented kidney injuries such as albuminuria, glomerular hypertrophy, tubular injury, podocyte injury, fibrosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in diabetic mice as much as losartan. In addition, inhibition of lipid accumulation along with increases in PGC1?, a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, were demonstrated in diabetic mice treated with either LJ-2698 or losartan. These results suggest that LJ-2698, a selective A3AR antagonist, may become a novel therapeutic agent against DKD.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) participate in the pathogenesis of emphysema. Among ROS-producing enzymes, NOX NADPH oxidases are thought to be responsible for tissue injury associated with several lung pathologies. To determine whether NOX2 and/or NOX1 participate in the development of emphysema, their expression patterns were first studied by immunohistochemistry in the lungs of emphysematous patients. Subsequently, we investigated their contribution to elastase-induced emphysema using NOX2- and NOX1-deficient mice. In human lung, NOX2 was mainly detected in macrophages of control and emphysematous lungs, while NOX1 was expressed in alveolar epithelium and bronchial cells. We observed an elevated number of NOX2-positive cells in human emphysematous lungs, as well as increased NOX2 and NOX1 mRNA expression in mouse lungs following elastase exposure. Elastase-induced alveolar airspace enlargement and elastin degradation were prevented in NOX2-deficient mice, but not in NOX1-deficient mice. This protection was independent of inflammation and correlated with reduced ROS production. Concomitantly, an elevation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) level and a decrease of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression and activity were observed in alveolar macrophages and neutrophils. We addressed the specific role of macrophage-restricted functional NOX2 in elastase-induced lung emphysema using Ncf1 mutant mice and Ncf1 macrophage rescue mice (Ncf1 mutant mice with transgenic expression of Ncf1 only in CD68-positive mononuclear phagocytes; the MN mouse). Compared to WT mice, the lack of functional NOX2 led to decreased elastase-induced ROS production and protected against emphysema. In contrast, ROS production was restored specifically in macrophages from Ncf1 rescue mice and contributes to emphysema. Taken together, our results demonstrate that NOX2 is involved in the pathogenesis of human emphysema and macrophage-specific NOX2 participates in elastase-induced emphysema through the involvement of SIRT1/MMP-9 pathways in mice.
Project description:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema (COPD/emphysema) is characterized by chronic inflammation and premature lung aging. Anti-aging sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), a NAD+-dependent protein/histone deacetylase, is reduced in lungs of patients with COPD. However, the molecular signals underlying the premature aging in lungs, and whether SIRT1 protects against cellular senescence and various pathophysiological alterations in emphysema, remain unknown. Here, we showed increased cellular senescence in lungs of COPD patients. SIRT1 activation by both genetic overexpression and a selective pharmacological activator, SRT1720, attenuated stress-induced premature cellular senescence and protected against emphysema induced by cigarette smoke and elastase in mice. Ablation of Sirt1 in airway epithelium, but not in myeloid cells, aggravated airspace enlargement, impaired lung function, and reduced exercise tolerance. These effects were due to the ability of SIRT1 to deacetylate the FOXO3 transcription factor, since Foxo3 deficiency diminished the protective effect of SRT1720 on cellular senescence and emphysematous changes. Inhibition of lung inflammation by an NF-?B/IKK2 inhibitor did not have any beneficial effect on emphysema. Thus, SIRT1 protects against emphysema through FOXO3-mediated reduction of cellular senescence, independently of inflammation. Activation of SIRT1 may be an attractive therapeutic strategy in COPD/emphysema.
Project description:Two million Americans suffer from pulmonary emphysema, costing $2.5 billion/year and contributing to 100,000 deaths/year. Emphysema is thought to result from an imbalance between elastase and endogenous inhibitors of elastase, leading to tissue destruction and a loss of alveoli. Decades of research have still not resulted in an effective treatment other than stopping cigarette smoking, a highly addictive behavior. On the basis of our previous work, we hypothesize that small molecule inhibitors of human neutrophil elastase are ineffective because of rapid clearance from the lungs. To develop a long-acting elastase inhibitor with a lung pharmacodynamic profile that has minimal immunogenicity, we covalently linked an elastase inhibitor, similar to a trifluoro inhibitor that was used in clinical trials, to a 25-amino-acid fragment of human surfactant peptide B. We used this construct to prevent human neutrophil elastase-induced emphysema in a rodent model. The elastase inhibitor alone, although in a 70-fold molar excess to elastase in a mixture with <0.6% residual elastase activity, provided no protection from elastase-induced emphysema. Covalently combining an endogenous peptide from the target organ with a synthetic small molecule inhibitor is a unique way of endowing an active compound with the pharmacodynamic profile needed to create in vivo efficacy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pulmonary emphysema is characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction, inflammation, oxidative stress imbalance and lung remodeling, resulting in reduced lung function and a lower quality of life. Flavonoids are plant compounds with potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that have been used in folk medicine. Our aim was to determine whether treatment with sakuranetin, a flavonoid extracted from the aerial parts of Baccharis retusa, interferes with the development of lung emphysema.<h4>Methods</h4>Intranasal saline or elastase was administered to mice; the animals were then treated with sakuranetin or vehicle 2 h later and again on days 7, 14 and 28. We evaluated lung function and the inflammatory profile in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The lungs were removed to evaluate alveolar enlargement, extracellular matrix fibers and the expression of MMP-9, MMP-12, TIMP-1, 8-iso-PGF-2? and p65-NF-?B in the fixed tissues as well as to evaluate cytokine levels and p65-NF-?B protein expression.<h4>Results</h4>In the elastase-treated animals, sakuranetin treatment reduced the alveolar enlargement, collagen and elastic fiber deposition and the number of MMP-9- and MMP-12-positive cells but increased TIMP-1 expression. In addition, sakuranetin treatment decreased the inflammation and the levels of TNF-?, IL-1? and M-CSF in the BALF as well as the levels of NF-?B and 8-iso-PGF-2? in the lungs of the elastase-treated animals. However, this treatment did not affect the changes in lung function.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data emphasize the importance of oxidative stress and metalloproteinase imbalance in the development of emphysema and suggest that sakuranetin is a potent candidate that should be further investigated as an emphysema treatment. This compound may be useful for counteracting lung remodeling and oxidative stress and thus attenuating the development of emphysema.
Project description:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction and pulmonary emphysema. Persistent inflammation and remodeling of the lungs and airways result in reduced lung function and a lower quality of life. Galectin (Gal)-9 plays a crucial role as an immune modulator in various diseases. However, its role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema is unknown. This study investigates whether Gal-9 is involved in pulmonary inflammation and changes in emphysema in a porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE)-induced emphysema model.Gal-9 was administered to mice subcutaneously once daily from 1 day before PPE instillation to day 5. During the development of emphysema, lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were collected. Histological and cytological findings, concentrations of chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the BALF, and the influence of Gal-9 treatment on neutrophils were analyzed.Gal-9 suppressed the pathological changes of PPE-induced emphysema. The mean linear intercept (Lm) of Gal-9-treated emphysema mice was significantly lower than that of PBS-treated emphysema mice (66.1 ± 3.3 ?m vs. 118.8 ± 14.8 ?m, respectively; p < 0.01). Gal-9 decreased the number of neutrophils and levels of MMP-9, MMP-2 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 in the BALF. The number of neutrophils in the BALF correlated significantly with MMPs levels. Interestingly, Gal-9 pretreatment in vitro inhibited the chemotactic activity of neutrophils and MMP-9 production from neutrophils. Furthermore, in Gal-9-deficient mice, PPE-induced emphysema progressed significantly compared with that in wild-type (WT) mice (108.7 ± 6.58 ?m vs. 77.19 ± 6.97 ?m, respectively; p < 0.01).These results suggest that Gal-9 protects PPE-induced inflammation and emphysema by inhibiting the infiltration of neutrophils and decreasing MMPs levels. Exogenous Gal-9 could be a potential therapeutic agent for COPD.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pulmonary emphysema is characterized by alveolar destruction and persistent inflammation of the airways. Although IL-17A contributes to many chronic inflammatory diseases, it's role in the inflammatory response of elastase-induced emphysema remains unclear. METHODS: In a model of elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema we examined the response of IL-17A-deficient mice, monitoring airway inflammation, static compliance, lung histology and levels of neutrophil-related chemokine and pro-inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. RESULTS: Wild-type mice developed emphysematous changes in the lung tissue on day 21 after elastase treatment, whereas emphysematous changes were decreased in IL-17A-deficient mice compared to wild-type mice. Neutrophilia in BAL fluid, seen in elastase-treated wild-type mice, was reduced in elastase-treated IL-17A-deficient mice on day 4, associated with decreased levels of KC, MIP-2 and IL-1 beta. Elastase-treated wild-type mice showed increased IL-17A levels as well as increased numbers of IL-17A+ CD4 T cells in the lung in the initial period following elastase treatment. CONCLUSIONS: These data identify the important contribution of IL-17A in the development of elastase-induced pulmonary inflammation and emphysema. Targeting IL-17A in emphysema may be a potential therapeutic strategy for delaying disease progression.
Project description:An excessive pulmonary inflammatory response could explain the poor prognosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients submitted to invasive mechanical ventilation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response to normal tidal volume mechanical ventilation in an elastase-induced murine model of pulmonary emphysema. In this model, two time points, associated with different levels of lung inflammation but similar lung destruction, were analyzed. C57BL/6 mice received a tracheal instillation of 5 IU of porcine pancreatic elastase (Elastase mice) or the same volume of saline (Saline mice). Fourteen (D14) and 21 (D21) days after instillation, mice were anesthetized, intubated, and either mechanically ventilated (MV) or maintained on spontaneous ventilation (SV) during two hours. As compared with Saline mice, Elastase mice showed a similarly increased mean chord length and pulmonary compliance at D14 and D21, while bronchoalveolar lavage cellularity was comparable between groups. Lung mechanics was similarly altered during mechanical ventilation in Elastase and Saline mice. Activated alveolar macrophages CD11bmid were present in lung parenchyma in both Elastase SV mice and Elastase MV mice at D14 but were absent at D21 and in Saline mice, indicating an inflammatory state with elastase at D14 only. At D14, Elastase MV mice showed a significant increase in percentage of neutrophils in total lung, as compared with Elastase SV mice. Furthermore, alveolar macrophages of Elastase MV mice at D14 overexpressed Gr1, and monocytes showed a trend to overexpression of CD62L, compared with Elastase SV mice. In an elastase-induced model of pulmonary emphysema, normal tidal volume mechanical ventilation may produce an increase in the proportion of pulmonary neutrophils, and an activation of alveolar macrophages and pulmonary monocytes. This response seems to be observed only when the emphysema model shows an underlying inflammation (D14), reflected by the presence of activated alveolar macrophages CD11bmid.
Project description:Multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) ameliorate several types of lung injury. The differentiation of MSCs into specific cells at the injury site has been considered as the important process in the MSC effect. However, although MSCs reduce destruction in an elastase-induced lung emphysema model, MSC differentiation is relatively rare, suggesting that MSC differentiation into specific cells does not adequately explain the recuperation observed. Humoral factors secreted by MSCs may also play an important role in ameliorating emphysema. To confirm this hypothesis, emphysema was induced in the lungs of C57BL/6 mice by intratracheal elastase injection 14 days before intratracheal MSC or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) administration. Thereafter, lungs were collected at several time points and evaluated. Our results showed that MSCs reduced the destruction in elastase-induced emphysema. Furthermore, double immunofluorescence staining revealed infrequent MSC engraftment and differentiation into epithelial cells. Real-time PCR showed increased levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). Real-time PCR and western blotting showed enhanced production of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) in the lung. In-vitro coculture studies confirmed the in vivo observations. Our findings suggest that paracrine factors derived from MSCs is the main mechanism for the protection of lung tissues from elastase injury.