Original Articles

A novel artemisinin derivative, 3-(12-bold beta-artemisininoxy) phenoxyl succinic acid (SM735), mediates immunosuppressive effects in vitro and in vivo

Authors: Wen-liang Zhou, Jin-ming Wu, Qing-li Wu, Jun-xia Wang, Yu Zhou, Ru Zhou, Pei-lan He, Xiao-yu Li, Yi-fu Yang, Yu Zhang, Ying Li, Jian-ping Zuo


Aim: To study the immunosuppressive activity of SM735 {[3 -(12-beta-artemisininoxy)] phenoxyl succinic acid}, a synthetic artemisinin derivative with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug structure, with the aim of finding potential immunosuppressive agents.
Methods: Concanavalin A (ConA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), were used to induce the proliferation of splenocytes, and [3H]-thymidine incorporation was used to evaluate the proliferation of splenocytes. Cytokine production was promoted with ConA, LPS, or PMA plus ionomycin, and was detected with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) and sheep red blood cells (SRBC) were used to induce delayed-type hypersensitivity and quantitative hemolysis of SRBC (QHS) mouse models, as criteria for the evaluation of in vivo immune activity.
Results: SM735 strongly inhibited the proliferation of splenocytes induced by ConA, LPS, or MLR, with IC50 values of 0.33 mumol/L, 0.27 mumol/L, and 0.51 mumol/L, respectively. When compared with a CC50 value of 53.1 mumol/L, SM735 had a favorable safety range. SM735 dose-dependently inhibited proinflammatory cytokine production [including interleukins (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-6] induced by LPS or PMA plus ionomycin. Upon ConA stimulation, SM735 suppressed IFN-gamma in a dose-dependent manner, but did not affect IL-2 secretion. SM735 also strongly suppressed both T-cell-mediated delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and B-cell-mediated QHS reactions.
Conclusion: SM735 had strong immunosuppressive activity in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential role for SM735 as an immunosuppressive agent, and established the groundwork for further research onSM735.

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