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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2009 Nov;41(5):516-24. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2008-0163OC. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

A novel STAT6 inhibitor AS1517499 ameliorates antigen-induced bronchial hypercontractility in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Hoshi University, 2-4-41 Ebara, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8501, Japan.


Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is one of the central mediators for development of airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma. The signal transducer and activation of transcription 6 (STAT6) is one of the major signal transducers activated by IL-13, and a possible involvement of IL-13/STAT6 pathway in the augmented bronchial smooth muscle (BSM) contraction has been suggested. In the present study, the effect of a novel STAT6 inhibitor, AS1517499, on the development of antigen-induced BSM hyperresponsiveness was investigated. In cultured human BSM cells, IL-13 (100 ng/ml) caused a phosphorylation of STAT6 and an up-regulation of RhoA, a monomeric GTPase responsible for Ca2+ sensitization of smooth muscle contraction: both events were inhibited by co-incubation with AS1517499 (100 nM). In BALB/c mice that were actively sensitized and repeatedly challenged with ovalbumin antigen, an increased IL-13 level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids and a phosphorylation of STAT6 in bronchial tissues were observed after the last antigen challenge. These mice had an augmented BSM contractility to acetylcholine together with an up-regulation of RhoA in bronchial tissues. Intraperitoneal injections of AS1517499 (10 mg/kg) 1 hour before each ovalbumin exposure inhibited both the antigen-induced up-regulation of RhoA and BSM hyperresponsiveness, almost completely. A partial but significant inhibition of antigen-induced production of IL-13 was also found. These findings suggest that the inhibitory effects of STAT6 inhibitory agents, such as AS1517499, both on RhoA and IL-13 up-regulations might be useful for asthma treatment.

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