[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IntroductionBiological drugs are effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but increase severe infections. The CC chemokine receptor (CCR) 9 antagonist was effective for Crohn¿s disease without critical adverse effects including infections in clinical trials. The present study was carried out to explore the pathogenic roles of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL) 25 and its receptor, CCR9 in autoimmune arthritis and to study if the CCR9 antagonist could be a new treatment for RA.MethodsCCL25 and CCR9 expression was examined with immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Concentration of interleukin (IL)-6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-¿ was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Effects of abrogating CCR9 on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was evaluated using CCR9-deficient mice or the CCR9 antagonist, CCX8037. Fluorescence labeled-CD11b+ splenocytes from CIA mice were transferred to recipient CIA mice and those infiltrating into the synovial tissues of the recipient mice were counted.ResultsCCL25 and CCR9 proteins were found in the RA synovial tissues. CCR9 was expressed on macrophages, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and dendritic cells in the synovial tissues. Stimulation with CCL25 increased IL-6 and MMP-3 production from RA FLS, and IL-6 and TNF-¿ production from peripheral blood monocytes. CIA was suppressed in CCR9-deficient mice. CCX8037 also inhibited CIA and the migration of transferred CD11b+ splenocytes into the synovial tissues.Conclusion
The interaction between CCL25 and CCR9 may play important roles in cell infiltration into the RA synovial tissues and inflammatory mediator production. Blocking CCL25 or CCR9 may represent a novel safe therapy for RA.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 09/2014; 16(5):445. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:In experimental models of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), irradiation (IR) induces local expression of the chemokine CXCL12/SDF-1, which promotes tumour recurrence. The role of CXCR7, the high-affinity receptor for CXCL12, in the tumour's response to IR has not been addressed.Methods:We tested CXCR7 inhibitors for their effects on tumour growth and/or animal survival post IR in three rodent GBM models. We used immunohistochemistry to determine where CXCR7 protein is expressed in the tumours and in human GBM samples. We used neurosphere formation assays with human GBM xenografts to determine whether CXCR7 is required for cancer stem cell (CSC) activity in vitro.Results:CXCR7 was detected on tumour cells and/or tumour-associated vasculature in the rodent models and in human GBM. In human GBM, CXCR7 expression increased with glioma grade and was spatially associated with CXCL12 and CXCL11/I-TAC. In the rodent GBM models, pharmacological inhibition of CXCR7 post IR caused tumour regression, blocked tumour recurrence, and/or substantially prolonged survival. CXCR7 expression levels on human GBM xenograft cells correlated with neurosphere-forming activity, and a CXCR7 inhibitor blocked sphere formation by sorted CSCs.Conclusions:These results indicate that CXCR7 inhibitors could block GBM tumour recurrence after IR, perhaps by interfering with CSCs.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 14 January 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.830 www.bjcancer.com.
British Journal of Cancer 01/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the role of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 in atherosclerosis and vascular remodeling. CXCR7 is the alternative receptor of CXCL12, which regulates stem cell-mediated vascular repair and limits atherosclerosis via its receptor CXCR4.
Wire-induced injury of the carotid artery was performed in mice with a ubiquitous, conditional deletion of CXCR7 and in mice treated with the synthetic CXCR7 ligand CCX771. The effect of CCX771 treatment on atherosclerosis was studied in Apoe(-/-) mice fed a high fat diet for 12 weeks. Lipoprotein fractions were quantified in the plasma of Apoe(-/-) mice by FPLC. Uptake of DiI-labeled VLDL to adipose tissue was determined by 2-photon microscopy. We show that genetic deficiency of Cxcr7 increased neointima formation and lesional macrophage accumulation in hyperlipidemic mice after vascular injury. This was related to increased serum cholesterol levels and subsequent hyperlipidemia-induced monocytosis. Conversely, administration of the CXCR7 ligand, CCX771, to Apoe(-/-) mice inhibited lesion formation and ameliorated hyperlipidemia following vascular injury and during atherosclerosis. Treatment with CCX771 reduced circulating VLDL levels, but not LDL or HDL levels, and increased uptake of VLDL into Cxcr7-expressing white adipose tissue. This effect of CCX771 was associated with an enhanced lipase activity and reduced Angptl4 expression in adipose tissue.
CXCR7 regulates blood cholesterol by promoting its uptake in adipose tissue. This unexpected cholesterol-lowering effect of CXCR7 is beneficial for atherosclerotic vascular diseases presumably by ameliorating hyperlipidemia-induced monocytosis and can be augmented using a synthetic CXCR7 ligand.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Necrotizing and crescentic GN (NCGN) with a paucity of glomerular immunoglobulin deposits is associated with ANCA. The most common ANCA target antigens are myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proteinase 3. In a manner that requires activation of the alternative complement pathway, passive transfer of antibodies to mouse MPO (anti-MPO) induces a mouse model of ANCA NCGN that closely mimics human disease. Here, we confirm the importance of C5aR/CD88 in the mediation of anti-MPO-induced NCGN and report that C6 is not required. We further demonstrate that deficiency of C5a-like receptor (C5L2) has the reverse effect of C5aR/CD88 deficiency and results in more severe disease, indicating that C5aR/CD88 engagement enhances inflammation and C5L2 engagement suppresses inflammation. Oral administration of CCX168, a small molecule antagonist of human C5aR/CD88, ameliorated anti-MPO-induced NCGN in mice expressing human C5aR/CD88. These observations suggest that blockade of C5aR/CD88 might have therapeutic benefit in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis and GN.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 10/2013; · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concentration of CXCL12/SDF-1 in the bloodstream is tightly regulated, given its central role in leukocyte and stem/progenitor cell egress from bone marrow and recruitment to sites of inflammation or injury. The mechanism responsible for this regulation is unknown. Here we show that both genetic deletion and pharmacological inhibition of CXCR7, a high-affinity CXCL12 receptor, caused pronounced increases in plasma CXCL12 levels. The rise in plasma CXCL12 levels was associated with an impairment in the ability of leukocytes to migrate to a local source of CXCL12. Using a set of complementary and highly-sensitive techniques, we found that CXCR7 protein is expressed at low levels in multiple organs in both humans and mice. In humans, CXCR7 was detected primarily on venule endothelium and arteriole smooth muscle cells. CXCR7 expression on venule endothelium was also documented in immunodeficient mice and CXCR7+/lacZ mice. The vascular expression of CXCR7 thus gives it immediate access to circulating CXCL12. These studies suggest that endothelial CXCR7 regulates circulating CXCL12 levels and that CXCR7 inhibitors might be used to block CXCL12-mediated cell migration for therapeutic purposes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptor CCR2 is central for migration of monocytes into inflamed tissues. The novel CCR2 antagonist CCX140-B, which is currently in two separate Phase 2 clinical trials in diabetic nephropathy, was recently shown to reduce hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetics. In this report, we describe the effects of this compound on glycemic and renal function parameters in diabetic mice. Since CCX140-B has low affinity for mouse CCR2, transgenic human CCR2 knock-in mice were generated and rendered diabetic either with a high-fat diet (DIO) or by deletion of the leptin receptor gene (db/db). CCX140-B treatment in both models resulted in decreased albuminuria, which was associated with decreased glomerular hypertrophy and increased podocyte density. Moreover, treatment of DIO mice with CCX140-B resulted in decreased levels of fasting blood glucose and insulin, normalization of HOMA-IR values, and decreased numbers of adipose tissue inflammatory macrophages. Unlike other CCR2 antagonists, CCX140-B had no effect on plasma levels of the CCR2 ligand CCL2 or on the numbers of blood monocytes. These results support the ongoing evaluation of this molecule in diabetic subjects with impaired renal function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CCR2 inhibition has produced promising experimental and clinical anti-hyperglycemic effects. These results support the thesis that insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) are associated with chronic unresolved inflammation. The aim of this study was to provide a broad analysis of the various physiological changes occurring in mouse models of T2D in connection with pharmacological CCR2 inhibition.
A mouse-active chemical analogue of the clinical candidate CCX140-B was tested in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and db/db mice. Measurements included: adipose tissue inflammatory macrophage counts; peripheral blood glucose levels at steady-state and after glucose and insulin challenges; peripheral blood insulin and adiponectin levels; 24-h urine output and urinary glucose levels; pancreatic islet number and size; hepatic triglyceride and glycogen content; and hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase levels.
In DIO mice, the CCR2 antagonist completely blocked the recruitment of inflammatory macrophages to visceral adipose tissue. The mice exhibited reduced hyperglycemia and insulinemia, improved insulin sensitivity, increased circulating adiponectin levels, decreased pancreatic islet size and increased islet number. It also reduced urine output, glucose excretion, hepatic glycogen and triglyceride content and glucose 6-phosphatase levels. Similar effects were observed in the db/db diabetic mice.
These data indicate that pharmacological inhibition of CCR2 in models of T2D can reduce inflammation in adipose tissue, alter hepatic metabolism and ameliorate multiple diabetic parameters. These mechanisms may contribute to the promising anti-diabetic effects seen in humans with at least one CCR2 antagonist.
Metabolism: clinical and experimental 08/2013; · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent literature indicates that mice deficient in the chemokine receptor CCR9 (CCR9(-/-) mice) are unable to generate oral tolerance. The present report describes how such inability can be overcome by increasing the dose of oral antigen. Pharmacological inhibition of CCR9 did not affect the generation of oral tolerance, regardless of antigen dose. These results highlight the inadequacy of genetic deletion of CCR9 when predicting the effects of pharmacological CCR9 inhibition on intestinal biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CCX282-B, also called vercirnon, is a specific, orally-administered chemokine receptor CCR9 antagonist that regulates migration and activation of inflammatory cells in the intestine. This randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CCX282-B in 436 patients with Crohn's disease. Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) scores were 250-450 and C-reactive protein >7.5 mg/L at study entry. In addition to stable concomitant Crohn's medication (85% of subjects), subjects received placebo or CCX282-B (250 mg once daily, 250 mg twice daily, or 500 mg once daily) for 12 weeks. They then received 250 mg CCX282-B twice daily, open-label, through week 16. Subjects who had a clinical response (a ≥70 point drop in CDAI) at week 16 were randomly assigned to groups given placebo or CCX282-B (250 mg, twice daily) for 36 weeks. Primary endpoints were clinical response at Week 8 and sustained clinical response at Week 52. During the 12-week Induction period, the clinical response was highest in the group given 500 mg CCX282-B once daily. Response rates at week 8 were 49% in the placebo group, 52% in the group given CCX282-B 250 mg once daily (odds ratio [OR] = 1.12; p = .667 vs placebo), 48% in the group given CCX282-B 250 mg twice daily (OR = 0.95; p = .833), and 60% in the group given CCX282-B 500 mg once daily (OR = 1.53; p = .111). At week 12, response rates were 47%, 56% (OR = 1.44; p = .168), 49% (OR = 1.07; p = .792), and 61% (OR = 1.74; p = .039), respectively. At the end of the Maintenance period (week 52), 47% of subjects on CCX282-B were in remission, compared to 31% on placebo (OR = 2.01; p = .012); 46% showed sustained clinical responses, compared to 42% on placebo (OR = 1.14; p = .629). CCX282-B was well tolerated. Encouraging results from this clinical trial led to initiation of Phase 3 clinical trials in Crohn's disease. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00306215.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e60094. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A goal for developers of immunomodulatory drugs has long been a systemically administered small molecule that can selectively inhibit inflammation in specific tissues. The chemokine receptor CCR9 is an attractive target for this approach, as entry of T cells into the small intestine from blood requires interaction between CCR9 and its ligand CCL25. We have tested the ability of a small molecule CCR9 antagonist, CCX8037, to inhibit antigen-mediated T cell accumulation in the intestine. This compound prevented accumulation of gut-imprinted antigen-specific CD8 T cells within epithelium of the small intestine. Interestingly, the antagonist did not affect the robust generation of gut-imprinted CD8 T cells within mesenteric lymph nodes. To distinguish "gut-selective" from "general" T cell inhibition, we tested the drug's ability to influence accumulation of T cells within skin, a tissue in which CCR9 plays no known role, and we found no appreciable effect. This study demonstrates the feasibility of creating systemically-administered pharmaceuticals capable of tissue-selective immune modulation. This proof of concept is of utmost importance for designing effective treatments against various autoimmune disorders localized to a specific tissue.
PLoS ONE 11/2012; 7(11):e50498. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemokine CCL3/MIP-1α is a risk factor in the outcome of multiple myeloma (MM), particularly in the development of osteolytic bone disease. This chemokine, highly overexpressed by MM cells, can signal mainly through 2 receptors, CCR1 and CCR5, only 1 of which (CCR1) is responsive to CCL3 in human and mouse osteoclast precursors. CCR1 activation leads to the formation of osteolytic lesions and facilitates tumor growth. Here we show that formation of mature osteoclasts is blocked by the highly potent and selective CCR1 antagonist CCX721, an analog of the clinical compound CCX354. We also show that doses of CCX721 selected to completely inhibit CCR1 produce a profound decrease in tumor burden and osteolytic damage in the murine 5TGM1 model of MM bone disease. Similar effects were observed when the antagonist was used prophylactically or therapeutically, with comparable efficacy to that of zoledronic acid. 5TGM1 cells were shown to express minimal levels of CCR1 while secreting high levels of CCL3, suggesting that the therapeutic effects of CCX721 result from CCR1 inhibition on non-MM cells, most likely osteoclasts and osteoclast precursors. These results provide a strong rationale for further development of CCR1 antagonists for the treatment of MM and associated osteolytic bone disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: CCX354-C is a specific, orally administered antagonist of the C-C chemokine receptor 1, which regulates migration of monocytes and macrophages to synovial tissue. This clinical trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of CCX354-C in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: CARAT-2 is a 12-week double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial in 160 patients with RA, with 68 tender joint count and 66 swollen joint count ≥8 and C-reactive protein (CRP) >5 mg/l, despite being on methotrexate for at least 16 weeks. Subjects received placebo, CCX354-C 100 mg twice daily, or 200 mg once daily for 12 weeks. Endpoints included safety (primary) and RA disease activity assessments based on American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response, and changes in 28-joint disease activity score-CRP, individual ACR components, as well as soluble bone turnover markers. RESULTS: CCX354-C was generally well tolerated by study subjects. The ACR20 response at week 12 was 39% in the placebo group, 43% in the 100 mg twice daily group (difference and 95% CI compared with placebo, 4.5 (-14.1 to 23.1); p=0.62) and 52% in the 200 mg once daily group (13.0 (-5.8 to 31.8); p=0.17) in the intention-to-treat population, and 30% in the placebo group, 44% in the 100 mg twice daily group (14.4 (-5.9 to 34.8); p=0.17), and 56% in the 200 mg once daily group (25.8 (5.3 to 46.4); p=0.01) in the prespecified population of patients satisfying CRP and joint count eligibility criteria at the screening and day 1 (predose) visits. CONCLUSIONS: CCX354-C exhibited a good safety and tolerability profile and evidence of clinical activity in RA.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2012; · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The following manuscript was published as a Fast Forward article on February 29, 2012: Sullivan TJ, Dairaghi DJ, Krasinski A, Miao Z, Wang Y, Zhao BN, Baumgart T, Berahovich R, Ertl LS, Pennell A, Seitz L, Miao S, Ungashe S, Wei Z, Johnson D, Boring L, Tsou C-L, Charo IF, Bekker P, Schall TJ, and Jaen JC, Characterization of CCX140-B, an orally bioavailable antagonist of the CCR2 chemokine receptor, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and associated complications. J Pharmacol Exp Ther jpet.111.190918; doi:10.1124/jpet.111.190918 It was later found that the chemical identity of a compound cited in the article, CCX140-B, was not sufficiently disclosed. The authors are unable, at this time, to provide the chemical identity of CCX140-B in accordance with the editorial policies of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. As a result, the authors have voluntarily withdrawn this manuscript from publication. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause JPET's readers.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 02/2012; · 3.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemokines and their receptors are central to the inflammatory process and are attractive therapeutic targets. Drugs that inhibit chemokine receptors are approved for the treatment of HIV infection and for stem cell mobilization, but none have been approved yet for the treatment of inflammatory and/or autoimmune diseases. We analyse the challenges of developing chemokine receptor antagonists, and propose that inappropriate target selection and ineffective dosing, not the 'redundancy' of the chemokine system, are the main barriers to their use as anti-inflammatory therapies. We highlight evidence suggesting that chemokine receptor inhibition will prove to be an effective therapy in inflammatory diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The safety and pharmacokinetic (PK)/pharmacodynamic (PD) profile of the novel CCR1 antagonist CCX354 was evaluated in double-blind, placebo-controlled, single- and multiple-dose phase I studies (1-300 mg/day oral doses). CCX354 was well tolerated and displayed a linear dose-exposure profile, with half-life approaching 7 h at the 300-mg dose. The extent of CCR1 receptor blockade on blood monocytes, which correlated well with plasma concentrations of the drug, was assessed using fluorescently labeled CCL3 binding in whole blood from phase I subjects. High levels of receptor coverage at the 12-h time point were achieved after a single dose of 100 mg CCX354. Preclinical studies indicate that effective blockade of inflammatory cell infiltration into tissues requires ≥90% CCR1 inhibition on blood leukocytes at all times. The comparison of the properties of CCX354 with those published for other CCR1 antagonists has informed the dose selection for ongoing clinical development of CCX354 in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migration of metastatic tumor cells from the bloodstream into lymph nodes is thought to be facilitated by expression of the chemokine receptors CCR7, CXCR4 and, for B cell-derived tumors, CXCR5. Expression of their respective chemokine ligands (CCL19, CCL21, CXCL12 and CXCL13) by endothelial cells inside the lymph nodes facilitates the trans-endothelial migration (TEM) of these cells through high endothelial venules into the lymph node parenchyma. It is known that CXCR7, a second CXCL12 receptor, regulates TEM of CXCR4+CXCR7+ tumor cells towards a CXCL12 source. In this study, we set out to assess the potential stimulation by CXCL12 of tumor cell TEM towards other chemokines and whether CXCR7 might be able to regulate such effects.
The human Burkitt's lymphoma cell line NC-37, which expresses CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR7 and CCR7, was selected as a model system. TEM of these cells through a human HUVEC endothelial cell monolayer was used as the main model system for these studies. Regulation of their TEM behavior by various concentrations of the various cognate chemokines for the above-mentioned receptors, placed in either the source or target wells of modified Boyden chamber migration plates, was assessed by quantifying the number of cells migrated under each experimental condition.
Exposure of CXCR4⁺CXCR7⁺ cancer cells to CXCL12 greatly potentiated their TEM towards the chemokines CCL19 and CXCL13. This CXCL12-potentiated TEM was inhibited by the second CXCR7 chemokine ligand, CXCL11, as well as CXCR7-specific small molecule antagonists and antibodies. In contrast, the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 was less effective at inhibiting CXCL12-potentiated TEM. Thus, CXCR7 antagonists may be effective therapeutic agents for blocking CXCL12-mediated migration of CXCR4⁺CXCR7⁺ tumor cells into lymph nodes, regardless of whether the cancer cells follow a CXCL12 gradient or whether serum CXCL12 stimulates their migration towards CCR7 and CXCR5 chemokines in the lymph nodes.
Molecular Cancer 01/2011; 10:73. · 5.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interaction between CXCL12 and its receptor, CXCR4, in the synovium of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is important for local inflammatory cell recruitment, angiogenesis, and cytokine production. CXCR7 was recently identified as an alternative receptor for CXCL12. We undertook this study to analyze the expression of CXCR7 in RA synovium and the pathogenic role of the CXCL12/CXCR7 pathway in RA.
CXCR7 expression in RA synovial tissue was analyzed using immunohistochemistry, while expression of CXCR4 and CXCR7 on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was examined using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and CXCR7 expression was also analyzed by flow cytometry. Tube formation and rat aortic ring angiogenesis assays were used to assess the effects of CCX733 (a CXCR7 antagonist) and AMD3100 (a CXCR4 antagonist) on CXCL12-induced angiogenesis. The effect of anti-CXCR4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) was also analyzed using a tube formation assay. The effects of CCX733 in a murine model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were also evaluated.
CXCR7 was expressed on endothelial cells in RA synovium and also on unstimulated HUVECs. The expression of CXCR7 on HUVECs was markedly up-regulated by interleukin-1β (IL-1β) stimulation, and this overexpression was further enhanced by CXCL12 treatment. Incubation with CXCL12 also promoted angiogenic activity, with addition of IL-1β again augmenting the effect. CXCL12-induced angiogenesis was inhibited by both CXCR4 and CXCR7 antagonists and by anti-CXCR4 mAb. Furthermore, treatment with CCX733 significantly reduced the clinical arthritis scores and the numbers of vessels in the inflamed synovial tissue in mice with CIA.
CXCR7 and CXCR4 are both important for angiogenesis in RA synovium, making CXCR7 another potential target molecule for novel RA angiogenesis-blocking therapies.