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Title: Pirfenidone restricts Th2 differentiation in vitro and limits Th2 response in experimental liver fibrosis
Author: Navarro-Partida, J.
Martinez-Rizo, A.B.
Gonzalez-Cuevas, J.
Arrevillaga-Boni, G.
Ortiz-Navarrete, V.
Armendariz-Borunda, J.
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Polarized T helper type 2 (Th2) response is linked with fibrosis. Here, we evaluated the effect of the anti-fibrotic agent pirfenidone on Th type 1 (Th1) and Th2 responses. For in vivo testing; Wistar rats were made cirrhotic by intraperitoneal administration of thioacetamide. Once hepatic damage was established, pirfenidone was administered intragastrically on a daily basis during three weeks. Gene expression of Th marks was evaluated by RT-PCR and Western blot assays from liver homogenates. Pirfenidone therapy induced down-regulation of Th2 transcripts and proteins (GATA3 and IL-4), without affecting significantly Th1 genes expression (T-bet and IFN-γ). We found that the activated form of p38 MAPK (identified by Western blot) was reduced by pirfenidone treatment, which is consistent with the anti-Th2 activity observed. Pirfenidone reduced GATA3 nuclear localization without modifying its DNA binding activity (evaluated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay). For in vitro testing; human naive CD4+ T cells were cultured in either Th1 or Th2 polarizing conditions in the presence of pirfenidone and flow cytometric analysis of intracellular synthesis of IFN-γ and IL-4 was conducted. Pirfenidone impaired development of Th2 subpopulation. In conclusion, pirfenidone is capable of impairing Th2 differentiation and limits Th2 profibrogenic response. The mechanism involves p38 inhibition and regulation of GATA3 expression and translocation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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