van Loo G, Sze M, Bougarne N, Praet J, Mc Guire C, Ullrich A, Haegeman G, Prinz M, Beyaert R, De Bosscher K
Compound A (CpdA), a plant-derived phenyl aziridine precursor, was recently characterized as a fully dissociated nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agent, acting via activation of the glucocorticoid receptor, thereby down-modulating nuclear factor-kappaB-mediated transactivation, but not supporting glucocorticoid response element-driven gene expression. The present study demonstrates the effectiveness of CpdA in inhibiting the disease progress in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a well-characterized animal model of multiple sclerosis. CpdA treatment of mice, both early and at the peak of the disease, markedly suppressed the clinical symptoms of EAE induced by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide immunization. Attenuation of the clinical symptoms of EAE by CpdA was accompanied by reduced leukocyte infiltration in the spinal cord, reduced expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and reduced neuronal damage and demyelination. In vivo CpdA therapy suppressed the encephalogenicity of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide-specific T cells. Moreover, CpdA was able to inhibit TNF- and lipopolysaccharide-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in primary microglial cells in vitro, in a differential mechanistic manner as compared with dexamethasone. Finally, in EAE mice the therapeutic effect of CpdA, in contrast to that of dexamethasone, occurred in the absence of hyperinsulinemia and in the absence of a suppressive effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Based on these results, we propose CpdA as a compound with promising antiinflammatory characteristics useful for therapeutic intervention in multiple sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory diseases.