Stimulation of nAchRα7 Receptor Inhibits TNF Synthesis and Secretion in Response to LPS Treatment of Mast Cells by Targeting ERK1/2 and TACE Activation
OBJECTIVE Tumor necrosis factor and high mobility group box 1 are critical cytokine mediators of inflammation. The efferent vagus nerve inhibits cytokine release through alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated cholinergic signaling. Here we studied whether GTS-21, a selective alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, inhibits proinflammatory cytokines in vitro and in vivo and improves survival in murine endotoxemia and severe sepsis. DESIGN Randomized and controlled in vitro and in vivo study. SETTINGS Research laboratory and animal facility rooms. SUBJECTS RAW 264.7 cells and BALB/c mice treated with endotoxin or subjected to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). INTERVENTIONS RAW 264.7 cells were exposed to endotoxin (4 ng/mL or 10 ng/mL) in the presence or absence of GTS-21 (1-100 muM), and tumor necrosis factor and high mobility group box 1 release and nuclear factor-kappaB activation were analyzed. Mice were treated with GTS-21 (0.4 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline 30 mins before endotoxin (6 mg/kg, intraperitoneally), and serum tumor necrosis factor was analyzed 1.5 hrs after the onset of endotoxemia. In survival experiments, mice were treated with GTS-21 (0.4 or 4.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) or saline 30 mins before and 6 hrs after endotoxin and then twice daily for 3 days. Severe sepsis was induced by CLP. Mice were treated with GTS-21 (4 mg/kg) or saline immediately and 6 hrs and 24 hrs after CLP, and serum high mobility group box 1 was analyzed 30 hrs after CLP. In survival experiments, GTS-21 (0.4 or 4 mg/kg) treatment was initiated 24 hrs after CLP and continued twice daily for 3 days. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS GTS-21 dose-dependently inhibited tumor necrosis factor and high mobility group box 1 release and nuclear factor-kappaB activation in vitro. GTS-21 (4 mg/kg) significantly inhibited serum tumor necrosis factor during endotoxemia and improved survival (p < .0001). GTS-21 (4 mg/kg) significantly inhibited serum high mobility group box 1 levels in CLP mice and improved survival (p < .0006). CONCLUSION These findings are of interest for the development of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists as a new class of anti-inflammatory therapeutics.