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Clin Exp Immunol. Apr 1995; 100(1): 126–132.
PMCID: PMC1534274

Anti-inflammatory activity of phosphodiesterase (PDE)-IV inhibitors in acute and chronic models of inflammation.


Inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases are known to suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production in vitro in human monocytes. The most potent of these have selectivity for type IV PDEs, suggesting that this class of PDE is the major type involved in the regulation of human TNF-alpha production. Using compounds of two distinct chemical structural classes, a quinazolinedione (CP-77059) and a 4 arylpyrrolidinone (rolipram), we show here that PDE-IV-specific inhibitors are also potent in suppressing LPS-induced TNF-alpha production in vitro in sodium periodate-elicited murine macrophages (IC50s of 1 and 33, respectively). We then report the in vivo anti-inflammatory effect of PDE-IV inhibition in five murine models of inflammation: (i) elevation of serum TNF-alpha induced by a sublethal LPS injection; (ii) LPS-induced endotoxic shock; (iii) LPS/galactosamine-induced endotoxic shock; (iv) carrageenan-induced paw oedema; and (v) adjuvant arthritis. Following a sublethal (5 micrograms/mouse) injection of LPS, serum TNF-alpha levels in mice peaked sharply, reaching concentrations of 3-12 ng/ml 90 min after injection. In this sublethal LPS assay, CP-77059 was about 30 times more potent than rolipram, with a minimum effective dose of 0.1 mg/kg versus 3 mg/kg for rolipram. This rank order is in keeping with the relative in vitro IC50s for CP-77059 and rolipram, as well as their relative Ki against the human PDE-IV enzyme (46 nM and 220 nM, respectively). In LPS-induced endotoxic shock, rolipram and CP-77059 at relatively high doses of 30 and 10 mg/kg, respectively, significantly reduced serum TNF-alpha levels, and also inhibited mortality 66%. In the LPS/galactosamine shock model, in which mice are rendered exquisitely sensitive to LPS by co-injection with galactosamine, only 0.1 microgram of LPS/mouse is necessary for serum TNF-alpha elevation and death. Both rolipram and the CP-77059 caused dose-dependent reduction of serum TNF-alpha and lethality. In the carrageenan-induced paw oedema model, in which there is a pronounced local TNF-alpha response (without a serum TNF-alpha elevation), rolipram significantly inhibited paw swelling as well as localized TNF-alpha levels in the paw. In the adjuvant arthritis model, a chronic model of inflammation also possessing localized TNF-alpha elevation in the inflamed paw, rolipram and CP-77059 suppressed ankle swelling and radiological evidence of joint damage. These data are consistent with a major role for PDE-IV in regulation of TNF-alpha production and inflammatory responses in murine systems.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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