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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056349. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

SKLB023 blocks joint inflammation and cartilage destruction in arthritis models via suppression of nuclear factor-kappa B activation in macrophage.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common arthritis and is mainly characterized by symmetric polyarticular joint disorders. Our previous study demonstrated a novel small molecule compound (Z)-N-(3-Chlorophenyl)-2-(4-((2,4-dioxothiazolidin-5-ylidene) methyl) phenoxy) acet-amide (SKLB023) showed potently anti-arthritic effects in a rat arthritis model, however, the underlying mechanisms for this are largely unknown. Both NF-κB and macrophages were reported to play important roles in the pathologic processes of RA. The purposes of this study were to indicate whether NF-κB and macrophages contributed to anti-arthritic effects of SKLB023 in two experimental arthritis models. Our results showed that SKLB023 could significantly improve joint inflammation and cartilage destruction both in adjuvant induced arthritis (AIA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) models. We further found that the binding activation of NF-κB to DNA in joint tissues and RAW264.7 macrophages were suppressed by SKLB023. SKLB023 also inhibited the NF-κB activity in peritoneal macrophages by luciferase assay. Furthermore, the number of macrophages in synovial tissues was decreased after the treatment of different doses of SKLB023. The levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in plasma, and the levels of TNF-α, NO, and IL-1β in peritoneal macrophages were down-regulated by SKLB023. Finally, SKLB023 attenuated the expression of iNOS and COX-2 in vivo and suppressed the phosphorylations of components of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). These observations identify a novel function for SKLB023 as an inhibitor of NF-κB in macrophages of RA, highlighting that SKLB023 was a potential therapeutic strategy for RA.

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