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The artemisinin analog SM934 alleviates dry eye disease in rodent models by regulating TLR4/NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling

	author = {Fang-ming Yang and Di Fan and Xiao-qian Yang and Feng-hua Zhu and Mei-juan Shao and Qian Li and Yu-ting Liu and Ze-min Lin and Shi-qi Cao and Wei Tang and Shi-jun He and Jian-ping Zuo},
	title = {The artemisinin analog SM934 alleviates dry eye disease in rodent models by regulating TLR4/NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling},
	journal = {Acta Pharmacologica Sinica},
	volume = {42},
	number = {4},
	year = {2021},
	keywords = {},
	abstract = {Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disorder of the tears and ocular surface characterized by manifestations of dryness and irritation. Although the pathogenesis is not fully illuminated, it is recognized that inflammation has a prominent role in the development and deterioration of DED. β-aminoarteether maleate (SM934) is a water-soluble artemisinin derivative with antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive activities. In this study, we established scopolamine hydrobromide (SCOP)-induced rodent model as well as benzalkonium chloride (BAC)-induced rat model to investigate the therapeutic potential of SM934 for DED. We showed that topical application of SM934 (0.1%, 0.5%) significantly increased tear secretion, maintained the number of conjunctival goblet cells, reduced corneal damage, and decreased the levels of inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, or IL-1β) in conjunctiva in SCOP-induced and BAC-induced DED models. Moreover, SM934 treatment reduced the accumulation of TLR4- expressing macrophages in conjunctiva, and suppressed the expression of inflammasome components, i.e., myeloid differentiation factor88 (MyD88), Nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3), apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing CARD (ASC), and cleaved caspase 1. In LPS-treated RAW 264.7 cells, we demonstrated that pretreatment with SM934 (10 μM) impeded the upregulation of TLR4 and downstream NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling proteins. Collectively, artemisinin analog SM934 exerts therapeutic benefits on DED by simultaneously reserving the structural integrity of ocular surface and preventing the corneal and conjunctival inflammation, suggested a further application of SM934 in ophthalmic therapy, especially for DED.},
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