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2021 - Suppressing Kv1.3 Ion Channel Activity with a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor Ameliorates Inflammation in a Humanised Mouse Model of Ulcerative Colitis

icon pl   Patchliner Publication in Journal of Crohn's and Colitis (2021)

Unterweger A-L., Jensen M. Ø., Giordanetto F., Jogini V., Rüschher A., Seuß M., Winkelmann P., Koletzko L., Shaw D. E., Siebeck M., Gropp R., Beigel F., Aszodi A.


Journal of Crohn's and Colitis (2021) doi:10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjab078


Background and Aims: The potassium channel Kv1.3 is a potentially attractive therapeutic target in T cell-mediated inflammatory diseases, as the activity of antigen-activated T cells is selectively impeded by Kv1.3 inhibition. In this study, we examined Kv1.3 as a potential therapeutic intervention point for ulcerative colitis [UC], and studied the efficacy of DES1, a small-molecule inhibitor of Kv1.3, in vitro and in vivo.
Methods: Kv1.3 expression on T cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMCs] isolated from donors with and without UC was examined by flow cytometry. In biopsies from UC patients, Kv1.3-expressing CD4+ T cells were detected by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we determined the ability of DES1 to inhibit anti-CD3-driven activation of T cells. In vivo, the efficacy of DES1 was determined in a humanised mouse model of UC and compared with infliximab and tofacitinib in head-to-head studies.
Results: Kv1.3 expression was elevated in PBMCs from UC patients and correlated with the prevalence of TH1 and TH2 T cells. Kv1.3 expression was also detected on T cells from biopsies of UC patients. In vitro, DES1 suppressed anti-CD3-driven activation of T cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In vivo, DES1 significantly ameliorated inflammation in the UC model and most effectively so when PBMCs from donors with higher levels of activated T cells were selected for reconstitution. The efficacy of DES1 was comparable to that of either infliximab or tofacitinib.
Conclusion: Inhibition of Kv1.3 [by DES1, for instance] appears to be a potential therapeutic intervention strategy for UC patients.

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