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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 Oct;16(10):1763-77. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21264.

4SC-101, a novel immunosuppressive drug, inhibits IL-17 and attenuates colitis in two murine models of inflammatory bowel disease.

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Penn State College of Medicine, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania 17042, USA.



Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) is a key enzyme involved in pyrimidine biosynthesis. DHODH is a known target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. 4SC-101 is a novel immunosuppressive drug that inhibits DHODH. A goal of our study was to examine the in vitro effects of 4SC-101 on IL-17 production by mononuclear cells. In addition, we evaluated the efficacy of 4SC-101 against acute TNBS (2,4,6-tritrobenzene sulfonic acid) and chronic dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy human donors were used to evaluate cellular proliferation and cytokine (IL-17, TNF-α) production. The oral effects of 4SC-101 (100 or 200 mg/kg) were examined following induction of chronic colitis by the administration of 3% DSS (4 cycles) to Balb/c mice. Morphometric and histological indices of colitis were evaluated as indicators of drug efficacy. 4SC-101 was also administered for 6 days after the intracolonic administration of TNBS (20 mg in 50% ethanol) to female Balb/c mice. The colons were analyzed for overall macroscopic damage, ulceration, total length, distal segment weight, MPO activity, and histological pathology as indicators for the effectiveness of 4SC-101.


In vitro, 4SC-101 is a potent inhibitor of human DHODH, inhibits lymphocyte proliferation, and uniquely blocks phytohemagglutinin-stimulated IL-17 production by lymphocytes. In vivo, oral administration of 4SC-101 effectively improved both chronic DSS and acute TNBS colitis in mice. In these colitis models the overall efficacy profile of 4SC-101 was similar to that of dexamethasone.


4SC-101 is a novel immunosuppressive drug with excellent potential for the treatment of intestinal inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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