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Treatment of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis with an Inhibitor of Phosphodiesterase-8 (PDE8)

Basole, CP;Nguyen, RK;Lamothe, K;Billis, P;Fujiwara, M;Vang, AG;Clark, RB;Epstein, PM;Brocke, S;

After decades of development, inhibitors targeting cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) expressed in leukocytes have entered clinical practice for the treatment of inflammatory disorders, with three PDE4 inhibitors being in clinical use as therapeutics for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and atopic dermatitis. In contrast, the PDE8 family that is upregulated in pro-inflammatory T cells is a largely unexplored therapeutic target. We have previously demonstrated a role for the PDE8A-Raf-1 kinase complex in the regulation of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide 35-55 (MOG35-55) activated CD4+ effector T cell adhesion and locomotion by a mechanism that differs from PDE4 activity. In this study, we explored the in vivo treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for multiple sclerosis (MS) induced in mice immunized with MOG using the PDE8-selective inhibitor PF-04957325. For treatment in vivo, mice with EAE were either subcutaneously (s.c.) injected three times daily (10 mg/kg/dose), or were implanted subcutaneously with Alzet mini-osmotic pumps to deliver the PDE8 inhibitor (15.5 mg/kg/day). The mice were scored daily for clinical signs of paresis and paralysis which were characteristic of EAE. We observed the suppression of the clinical signs of EAE and a reduction of inflammatory lesion formation in the CNS by histopathological analysis through the determination of the numbers of mononuclear cells isolated from the spinal cord of mice with EAE. The PDE8 inhibitor treatment reduces the accumulation of both encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 T cells in the CNS. Our study demonstrates the efficacy of targeting PDE8 as a treatment of autoimmune inflammation in vivo by reducing the inflammatory lesion load.