Small molecules that disrupt leukocyte trafficking have proven effective in treating patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). We previously reported that chemerin receptor chemokine-like receptor 1 (CMKLR1) is required for maximal clinical and histological experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); and identified CMKLR1 small molecule antagonist 2-(α-naphthoyl) ethyltrimethylammonium iodide (α-NETA) that significantly suppressed disease onset in vivo. Here we directly compared α-NETA versus FDA-approved MS drug Tecfidera for clinical efficacy in EAE; characterized key safety/toxicity parameters for α-NETA; identified structure-activity relationships among α-NETA domains and CMKLR1 inhibition; and evaluated improved α-NETA analogs for in vivo efficacy. α-NETA proved safe and superior to Tecfidera in suppressing clinical EAE. In addition, we discovered structurally differentiated α-NETA analogs (primarily ortho- or para-methoxy substitutions) with significantly improved target potency in vitro and improved efficacy in vivo. These findings suggest that α-NETA-based CMKLR1 inhibitors may prove safe and effective in treating demyelinating diseases and potentially other autoimmune disorders.
Toll-Like Receptor 4 Promotes Th17 Lymphocyte Infiltration Via CCL25/CCR9 in Pathogenesis of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
- 200 ng of pertussis toxin (List Labs, USA) was applied intraperitoneally (ip) on day 0 and 2 after immunization. Control mice were treated without MOG. All of the mice were weighted and scored daily as follows (Mohamed et al
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is a key component in innate immunity and has been linked to central nervous system (CNS) inflammation diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disorder induced by autoreactive Th17 cells. In our study, we found that TLR4 deficient (TLR4-/-) mice were inadequate to induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), characterized by low clinic score and weight loss, alleviative demyelinating, as well as decreased inflammatory cell infiltration in the spinal cord. In the lesion area of EAE mice, loss of TLR4 down-regulated the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and chemokine CCL25. Furthermore, the expression of CCR9 was decreased and chemotactic migration was attenuated in TLR4-/- Th17 cells. Our results demonstrate that TLR4 may mediate Th17 infiltration through CCL25/CCR9 signal during pathogenesis of EAE. Graphical Abstract Immunofluorescent staining of RORγt (green) and CCR9 (red) in spinal cords. TLR4 deficiency down-regulates CCR9 expression in infiltrating lymphocytes.
Bile acid metabolism is altered in multiple sclerosis and supplementation ameliorates neuroinflammation
Bhargava, P;Mische, L;Smith, MD;Harrington, E;
BiorxivMay 7, 2019
Product: Pertussis Toxin from B. pertussis, Lyophilized in Buffer
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the CNS. Bile acids are cholesterol metabolites that can signal through receptors on cells throughout the body, including the CNS and immune system. Whether bile acid metabolism is abnormal in MS is unknown. Using global and targeted metabolomic profiling, we identified lower levels of circulating bile acid metabolites in multiple cohorts of adult and pediatric MS patients compared to controls. In white matter lesions from MS brain tissue, we noted the presence of bile acid receptors on immune and glial cells. To mechanistically examine the implications of lower levels of bile acids in MS, we studied the in vitro effects of an endogenous bile acid – tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) on astrocyte and microglial polarization. TUDCA prevented neurotoxic (A1) polarization of astrocytes and pro-inflammatory polarization of microglia in a dose-dependent manner. TUDCA supplementation in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis reduced severity of disease, based on behavioral and pathological measures. We demonstrate that bile acid metabolism is altered in MS; bile acid supplementation prevents polarization of astrocytes and microglia to neurotoxic phenotypes and ameliorates neuropathology in an animal model of MS. These findings identify dysregulated bile acid metabolism as a potential therapeutic target in MS.
Noncanonical scaffolding of Gαi and β-arrestin by G protein-coupled receptors
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) enable cells to sense and respond appropriately to hormonal and environmental signals, and are a target of ~30% of all FDA-approved medications. Canonically, each GPCR couples to distinct Gα proteins, such as Gαs, Gαi, Gαq or Gα12/13, as well as β-arrestins. These transducer proteins translate and integrate extracellular stimuli sensed by GPCRs into intracellular signals through what are broadly considered separable signalling pathways. However, the ability of Gα proteins to directly interact with β-arrestins to integrate signalling has not previously been appreciated. Here we show a novel interaction between Gαi protein family members and β-arrestin. Gαi:β-arrestin complexes were formed by all GPCRs tested, regardless of their canonical G protein isoform coupling, and could bind both GPCRs as well as the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). This novel paradigm of Gαi:β-arrestin scaffolds enhances our understanding of GPCR signalling.
Positional Strategies for Connection Specificity and Synaptic Organization in Spinal Sensory-Motor Circuits