Expanding the Clinical Indications for α(1)-Antitrypsin Therapy.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Faculty of Health Sciences, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Molecular Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.51). 05/2012; 18(9):957-70. DOI: 10.2119/molmed.2011.00196
Source: PubMed


α(1)-Antitrypsin (AAT) is a 52-kDa circulating serine protease inhibitor. Production of AAT by the liver maintains 0.9-1.75 mg/mL circulating levels. During acute-phase responses, circulating AAT levels increase more than fourfold. In individuals with one of several inherited mutations in AAT, low circulating levels increase the risk for lung, liver and pancreatic destructive diseases, particularly emphysema. These individuals are treated with lifelong weekly infusions of human plasma-derived AAT. An increasing amount of evidence appears to suggest that AAT possesses not only the ability to inhibit serine proteases, such as elastase and proteinase-3 (PR-3), but also to exert antiinflammatory and tissue-protective effects independent of protease inhibition. AAT modifies dendritic cell maturation and promotes T regulatory cell differentiation, induces interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist and IL-10 release, protects various cell types from cell death, inhibits caspases-1 and -3 activity and inhibits IL-1 production and activity. Importantly, unlike classic immunosuppressants, AAT allows undeterred isolated T-lymphocyte responses. On the basis of preclinical and clinical studies, AAT therapy for nondeficient individuals may interfere with disease progression in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, acute myocardial infarction, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, transplant rejection, graft versus host disease and multiple sclerosis. AAT also appears to be antibacterial and an inhibitor of viral infections, such as influenza and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and is currently evaluated in clinical trials for type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis and graft versus host disease. Thus, AAT therapy appears to have advanced from replacement therapy, to a safe and potential treatment for a broad spectrum of inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases.

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Available from: Eli C Lewis, Jan 22, 2015
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    • "In recent years, several activities were observed that render hAAT an attractive candidate for a series of inflammatory conditions, as recently reviewed (15). In particular, a benefit appears to emerge in conditions that combine tissue damage and inflammation, such as in ischemic myocardium (16) and graft-versus-host disease (17). "
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular form of the abundant heat-shock protein, gp96, is involved in human autoimmune pathologies. In patients with type 1 diabetes, circulating gp96 is found to be elevated, and is bound to the acute-phase protein, α1-antitrypsin (AAT). The two molecules also engage intracellularly during the physiological folding of AAT. AAT therapy promotes pancreatic islet survival in both transplantation and autoimmune diabetes models, and several clinical trials are currently examining AAT therapy for individuals with type 1 diabetes. However, its mechanism of action is yet unknown. Here, we examine whether the protective activity of AAT is related to binding of extracellular gp96. Primary mouse islets, macrophages, and dendritic cells were added recombinant gp96 in the presence of clinical-grade human AAT (hAAT, Glassia™, Kamada Ltd., Israel). Islet function was evaluated by insulin release. The effect of hAAT on IL-1β/IFNγ-induced gp96 cell-surface levels was also evaluated. In vivo, skin transplantation was performed for examination of robust immune responses, and systemic inflammation was induced by cecal puncture. Endogenous gp96 was inhibited by gp96-inhibitory peptide (gp96i, Compugen Ltd., Israel) in an allogeneic islet transplantation model. Our findings indicate that hAAT binds to gp96 and diminishes gp96-induced inflammatory responses; e.g., hAAT-treated gp96-stimulated islets released less pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β by 6.16-fold and TNFα by 2.69-fold) and regained gp96-disrupted insulin release. hAAT reduced cell activation during both skin transplantation and systemic inflammation, as well as lowered inducible surface levels of gp96 on immune cells. Finally, inhibition of gp96 significantly improved immediate islet graft function. These results suggest that hAAT is a regulator of gp96-mediated inflammatory responses, an increasingly appreciated endogenous damage response with relevance to human pathologies that are exacerbated by tissue injury.
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    • "2) Aralast NP (alpha1 anti-trypsin) – alpha1 anti-trypsin (or alpha1 proteinase inhibitor) is a drug approved for use as a replacement therapy for patients with alpha1 anti-trypsin deficiency. The drug has broadly acting anti-inflammatory properties [38]. Several previous studies have shown that this drug can prevent or reverse T1D in the NOD mouse model [39,40,41]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of an independent laboratory's tests of novel agents to prevent or reverse type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse, BioBreeding diabetes prone (BBDP) rat, and multiple autoimmune disease prone (MAD) rat models. Methods were developed to better mimic human clinical trials, including: prescreening, randomization, blinding, and improved glycemic care of the animals. Agents were suggested by the research community in an open call for proposals, and selected for testing by an NIDDK appointed independent review panel. Agents selected for testing to prevent diabetes at later stages of progression in a rodent model were a STAT4 antagonist (DT22669), alpha1 anti-trypsin (Aralast NP), celastrol (a natural product with anti-inflammatory properties), and a Macrophage Inflammatory Factor inhibitor (ISO-092). Agents tested for reversal of established T1D in rodent models were: alpha1 anti-trypsin (Aralast NP), tolerogenic peptides (Tregitopes), and a long-acting formulation of GLP-1 (PGC-GLP-1). None of these agents were seen to prevent or reverse type 1 diabetes, while the positive control interventions were effective: anti-CD3 treatment provided disease reversal in the NOD mouse, dexamethasone prevented T1D induction in the MAD rat, and cyclosporin prevented T1D in the BBDP rat. For some tested agents, details of previous formulation, delivery, or dosing, as well as laboratory procedure, availability of reagents and experimental design, could have impacted our ability to confirm prior reports of efficacy in preclinical animal models. In addition, the testing protocols utilized here provided detection of effects in a range commonly used in placebo controlled clinical trials (for example, 50% effect size), and thus may have been underpowered to observe more limited effects. That said, we believe the results compiled here, showing good control and repeatability, confirm the feasibility of screening diverse test agents in an independent laboratory.
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