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Open Access Research article

Therapeutic effect of the potent IL-12/IL-23 inhibitor STA-5326 on experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis

Hiroshi Keino1*, Takayo Watanabe1, Yasuhiko Sato2, Mamoru Niikura3, Yumiko Wada4 and Annabelle A Okada1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Kyorin University School of Medicine, 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8611 Japan

2 Division of Radioisotope Research, Kyorin University School of Medicine, 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8611 Japan

3 Laboratory of Animals, Kyorin University School of Medicine, 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8611 Japan

4 Synta Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 45 Hartwell Ave. Lexington, MA 02421, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:R122  doi:10.1186/ar2530

Published: 13 October 2008

Abstract

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to determine if oral administration of the interleukin (IL) 12/IL-23 inhibitor, STA-5326, is effective in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU).

Methods

C57BL/6J mice were immunised with human interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein peptide (IRBP1–20). STA-5326 at a dose of either 5 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg, or vehicle alone, was orally administered once a day for six days a week from day 0 to day 14. Fundus examination was performed on day 14 and day 18 after immunisation. Mice were euthanased on day 18 and the eyes were enucleated for histopathological examination. In vivo-primed draining lymph node cells were stimulated with IRBP1–20 and culture supernatant was harvested for assay of interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-17 by ELISA. Intracellular expression of IFN-γ and IL-17 in CD4+ T cells of cultured draining lymph node cells was assessed by flow cytometry. The level of IL-12 p40 in serum was examined in STA-5326-treated or vehicle-treated mice receiving immunisation.

Results

The level of IL-12 p40 in serum was decreased in mice treated with STA-5326. Oral administration of either 5 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg STA-5326 reduced the severity of EAU on day 14 and 18. In addition, mice treated with 20 mg/kg STA-5326 showed significantly decreased severity of EAU by histopathological analysis. Although IFN-γ production of draining lymph node cells was increased in STA-5326-treated mice by ELISA analysis, the proportion of IFN-γ-producing cells was not significantly altered. However, IL-17 production and the proportion of IL-17-producing cells were significantly reduced in STA-5326-treated mice. Furthermore, oral administration of STA-5326 during the effector phase reduced the severity of EAU.

Conclusions

These results indicate that oral administration of the IL-12/IL-23 inhibitor STA-5326 is effective in suppressing inflammation in the EAU model, and reduces the expansion of IL-17-producing cells. STA-5326 may represent a new therapeutic modality for human refractory uveitis.