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BJ-3105, a 6-Alkoxypyridin-3-ol Analog, Impairs T Cell Differentiation and Prevents Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Disease Progression

Timilshina, M;Kang, Y;Dahal, I;You, Z;Nam, TG;Kim, KJ;Jeong, BS;Chang, JH;

CD4+ T cells are essential in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Interferon- (IFN-) secreting T helper (Th1) and IL-17 secreting T helper (Th17) cells are critical for several autoimmune diseases. To assess the inhibitory effect of a given compound on autoimmune disease, we screened many compounds with an in vitro Th differentiation assay. BJ-3105, a 6-alkoxypyridin-3-ol analog, inhibited IFN- and IL-17 production from polyclonal CD4+ T cells and ovalbumin (OVA)-specific CD4+ T cells which were activated by T cell receptor (TCR) engagement. BJ-3105 ameliorated the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model by reducing Th1 and Th17 generation. Notably, Th cell differentiation was significantly suppressed by BJ-3105 treatment without inhibiting in vitro proliferation of T cells or inducing programmed cell death. Mechanistically, BJ-3105 inhibited the phosphorylation of JAK and its downstream signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) that is critical for Th differentiation. These results demonstrated that BJ-3105 inhibits the phosphorylation of STAT in response to cytokine signals and subsequently suppressed the differentiation of Th cell responses.