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03.05.2022: Publication Alert - HDAC6 inhibitor ACY-1083 shows lung epithelial protective features in COPD

ACY-1083 shows protection of the respiratory epithelium during COPD-relevant challenges which indicates a future potential to restore epithelial structure and function to halt disease progression in clinical practice.

Abstract:

Airway epithelial damage is a common feature in respiratory diseases such as COPD and has been suggested to drive inflammation and progression of disease. These features manifest as remodeling and destruction of lung epithelial characteristics including loss of small airways which contributes to chronic airway inflammation. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) has been shown to play a role in epithelial function and dysregulation, such as in cilia disassembly, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and oxidative stress responses, and has been implicated in several diseases. We thus used ACY-1083, an inhibitor with high selectivity for HDAC6, and characterized its effects on epithelial function including epithelial disruption, cytokine production, remodeling, mucociliary clearance and cell characteristics.

Primary lung epithelial air-liquid interface cultures from COPD patients were used and the impacts of TNF, TGF-β, cigarette smoke and bacterial challenges on epithelial function in the presence and absence of ACY-1083 were tested. Each challenge increased the permeability of the epithelial barrier whilst ACY-1083 blocked this effect and even decreased permeability in the absence of challenge. TNF was also shown to increase production of cytokines and mucins, with ACY-1083 reducing the effect. We observed that COPD-relevant stimulations created damage to the epithelium as seen on immunohistochemistry sections and that treatment with ACY-1083 maintained an intact cell layer and preserved mucociliary function. Interestingly, there was no direct effect on ciliary beat frequency or tight junction proteins indicating other mechanisms for the protected epithelium.

In summary, ACY-1083 shows protection of the respiratory epithelium during COPD-relevant challenges which indicates a future potential to restore epithelial structure and function to halt disease progression in clinical practice.

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