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Am J Pathol. 2000 Dec;157(6):2065-79.

Calpain inhibitor I reduces the development of acute and chronic inflammation.

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Institute of Pharmacology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy. St. Bartholomew's, and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London, United Kingdom.


There is limited evidence that inhibition of the activity of the protease calpain I reduces inflammation. Here we investigate the effects of calpain inhibitor I in animal models of acute and chronic inflammation (carrageenan-induced pleurisy and collagen-induced arthritis). We report here for the first time that calpain inhibitor I (given at 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg i.p. in the pleurisy model or at 5 mg/kg i.p every 48 hours in the arthritis model) exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects (eg, inhibition of pleural exudate formation, mononuclear cell infiltration, delayed the development of the clinical signs and histological injury) in vivo. Furthermore, calpain inhibitor I reduced (1) the staining for nitrotyrosine and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (immunohistochemistry) and (2) the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 in the lungs of carrageenan-treated rats and in joints from collagen-treated rats. Thus, prevention of the activation of calpain I reduces the development of acute and chronic inflammation. Inhibition of calpain I activity may represent a novel therapeutic approach for the therapy of inflammation.

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