ABSTRACT: In previous studies, we identified the fungal macrocyclic lactone (S)-curvularin (SC) as an anti-inflammatory agent using a screening system detecting inhibitors of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether SC is able to decrease proinflammatory gene expression in an in vivo model of a chronic inflammatory disease. Therefore, the effects of SC and dexamethasone were compared in the model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice. Total genomic microarray analyses were performed to identify SC target genes. In addition, in human C28/I2 chondrocytes and MonoMac6 monocytes, the effect of SC on proinflammatory gene expression was tested at the mRNA and protein level. In the CIA model, SC markedly reduced the expression of a number of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines involved in the pathogenesis of CIA as well as human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In almost all cases, the effects of SC were comparable with those of dexamethasone. In microarray analyses, we identified additional new therapeutic targets of SC. Some of them, such as S100A8, myeloperoxidase, or cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide, are known to be implicated in pathophysiological processes in RA. Similar anti-inflammatory effects of SC were also observed in human C28/I2 chondrocyte cells, which are resistant to glucocorticoid treatment. These data indicate that SC and glucocorticoid effects are mediated via independent signal transduction pathways. In summary, we demonstrate that SC is a new effective anti-inflammatory compound that may serve as a lead compound for the development of new drugs for the therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2012; 343(1):106-14. · 3.83 Impact Factor