Publications by authors named "Maria C Lebre"

31 Publications

Drug Transporters ABCB1 (P-gp) and OATP, but not Drug-Metabolizing Enzyme CYP3A4, Affect the Pharmacokinetics of the Psychoactive Alkaloid Ibogaine and its Metabolites.

Front Pharmacol 2022 4;13:855000. Epub 2022 Mar 4.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The psychedelic alkaloid ibogaine is increasingly used as an oral treatment for substance use disorders, despite being unlicensed in most countries and having reported adverse events. Using wild-type and genetically modified mice, we investigated the impact of mouse (m)Abcb1a/1b and Abcg2 drug efflux transporters, human and mouse OATP drug uptake transporters, and the CYP3A drug-metabolizing complex on the pharmacokinetics of ibogaine and its main metabolites. Following oral ibogaine administration (10 mg/kg) to mice, we observed a rapid and extensive conversion of ibogaine to noribogaine (active metabolite) and noribogaine glucuronide. Mouse Abcb1a/1b, in combination with mAbcg2, modestly restricted the systemic exposure (plasma AUC) and peak plasma concentration (C) of ibogaine. Accordingly, we found a ∼2-fold decrease in the relative recovery of ibogaine in the small intestine with fecal content in the absence of both transporters compared to the wild-type situation. Ibogaine presented good intrinsic brain penetration even in wild-type mice (brain-to-plasma ratio of 3.4). However, this was further increased by 1.5-fold in mice, but not in mice, revealing a stronger effect of mAbcb1a/1b in restricting ibogaine brain penetration. The studied human OATP transporters showed no major impact on ibogaine plasma and tissue disposition, but the mOatp1a/1b proteins modestly affected the plasma exposure of ibogaine metabolites and the tissue disposition of noribogaine glucuronide. No considerable role of mouse Cyp3a knockout or transgenic human CYP3A4 overexpression was observed in the pharmacokinetics of ibogaine and its metabolites. In summary, ABCB1, in combination with ABCG2, limits the oral availability of ibogaine, possibly by mediating its hepatobiliary and/or direct intestinal excretion. Moreover, ABCB1 restricts ibogaine brain penetration. Variation in ABCB1/ABCG2 activity due to genetic variation and/or pharmacologic inhibition might therefore affect ibogaine exposure in patients, but only to a limited extent. The insignificant impact of human CYP3A4 and OATP1B1/1B3 transporters may be clinically advantageous for ibogaine and noribogaine use, as it decreases the risks of undesirable drug interactions or interindividual variation related to CYP3A4 and/or OATP activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.855000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8931498PMC
March 2022

Impact of Adalimumab Treatment on Interleukin-17 and Interleukin-17 Receptor Expression in Skin and Synovium of Psoriatic Arthritis Patients with Mild Psoriasis.

Biomedicines 2022 Jan 29;10(2). Epub 2022 Jan 29.

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam Rheumatology & Immunology Center (ARC), Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Interleukin (IL)-17 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF)-α are key players in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) pathogenesis. While both cytokines can be therapeutically targeted with beneficial clinical outcome, it is unclear whether inhibiting one cytokine will affect the other at sites of inflammation. If both act independently, this might provide a rationale for dual or combined inhibition of both cytokines. Here, we evaluated the effect of TNF blockade in PsA patients on IL-17 levels in both skin and synovial tissue biopsies. PsA patients with mild psoriatic skin lesions were randomized to receive either adalimumab or placebo for four weeks. Synovial and skin biopsies were obtained at weeks zero and four. Skin from healthy donors (HDs) was used for comparison. Expression of IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC was assessed by immunohistochemistry and analyzed with digital image analysis. We found relatively low levels of IL-17 and its receptors in the skin of PsA patients compared to HD, and only IL-17F in the dermis of lesional psoriatic skin was significantly higher compared to HD skin ( = 0.0002). Histologically IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC in skin and synovial tissue were not downregulated by adalimumab treatment. Thus, in this cohort of PsA patients with mild psoriasis, TNF blockade did not affect the protein levels of IL-17 cytokines and its receptors in skin and synovium, despite reduced cellular inflammation and improved clinical outcome for joint involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10020324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8869729PMC
January 2022

ABCB1 limits brain exposure of the KRAS inhibitor sotorasib, whereas ABCB1, CYP3A, and possibly OATP1a/1b restrict its oral availability.

Pharmacol Res 2022 04 19;178:106137. Epub 2022 Feb 19.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Sotorasib (Lumakras™) is the first FDA-approved KRAS inhibitor for treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carrying this mutation. Using genetically modified mouse models, we studied the influence of the efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the OATP1a/1b uptake transporters, and the CYP3A drug-metabolizing enzyme complex on the plasma pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of oral sotorasib. In vitro, sotorasib was a potent substrate for human ABCB1 and a modest substrate for mouse Abcg2, but not for human ABCG2. In vivo, the brain-to-plasma ratio of sotorasib (40 mg/kg) was highly increased in Abcb1a/1b (5.9-fold) and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 (7.6-fold) compared to wild-type mice, but not in single Abcg2 mice. Upon coadministering elacridar, an ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor, sotorasib brain accumulation increased 7.5-fold, approaching the levels observed in Abcb1a/1b-deficient mice. No acute CNS toxicity emerged upon boosting of the sotorasib exposure. In Oatp1a/1b-deficient mice, we observed a 2-fold reduction in liver disposition compared to wild-type mice, although these uptake transporters had no noticeable impact on sotorasib plasma exposure. However, plasma exposure was limited by mouse Cyp3a and human CYP3A4, as the AUC in Cyp3a mice was increased by 2.5-fold compared to wild-type mice, and subsequently strongly decreased (by 3.9-fold) in Cyp3aXAV mice transgenically overexpressing human CYP3A4 in liver and intestine. Collectively, the oral availability of sotorasib was markedly limited by CYP3A and possibly also by ABCB1 and OATP1a/b, whereas its brain accumulation was strongly restricted by ABCB1. The obtained results may help to further optimize the safety and efficacy of sotorasib in clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2022.106137DOI Listing
April 2022

Rifampin and ritonavir increase oral availability and elacridar enhances overall exposure and brain accumulation of the NTRK inhibitor larotrectinib.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm 2022 Jan 21;170:197-207. Epub 2021 Dec 21.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Introduction: Larotrectinib is an FDA-approved oral small-molecule inhibitor for neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase (NTRK) fusion-positive cancer treatment. Here larotrectinib pharmacokinetic behavior upon co-administration with prototypical inhibitors of the efflux transporters ABCB1/ABCG2 (elacridar), the SLCO1A/1B (OATP1A/1B) uptake transporters (rifampin), and the drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A (ritonavir), respectively, was investigated.

Methods: Inhibitors were orally administered prior to oral larotrectinib (10 mg/kg) to relevant genetically modified mouse models. Larotrectinib plasma and tissue homogenate concentrations were measured by a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric assay.

Results: Elacridar increased oral availability (2.7-fold) and markedly improved brain-to-plasma ratios (5.0-fold) of larotrectinib in wild-type mice. Mouse (m)Oatp1a/1b but not hepatic transgenic human (h)OATP1B1 or -1B3 restricted larotrectinib oral availability and affected its tissue distribution. Rifampin enhanced larotrectinib oral availability not only in wild-type mice (1.9-fold), but surprisingly also in Slco1a/1b mice (1.7-fold). Similarly, ritonavir increased the larotrectinib plasma exposure in both wild-type (1.5-fold) and Cyp3a mice (1.7-fold). Intriguingly, both rifampin and ritonavir decreased liver and/or intestinal larotrectinib levels in all related experimental groups, suggesting additional inhibition of enterohepatic Abcb1a/1b activity.

Conclusions: Elacridar enhances both larotrectinib plasma and tissue exposure and especially relative brain penetration, which might be therapeutically relevant. Hepatic mOatp1a/1b but not hOATP1B1 or -1B3 transported larotrectinib. Additionally, rifampin enhances larotrectinib systemic exposure, most likely by inhibiting mOatp1a/1b, but probably also hepatic and/or intestinal mAbcb1. Similar to rifampin, dual-inhibition functions of ritonavir affecting both CYP3A enzymes and enterohepatic Abcb1 transporters enhanced larotrectinib oral availability. The obtained insights may be used to further optimize the clinical-therapeutic application of larotrectinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2021.12.007DOI Listing
January 2022

ABCB1 and ABCG2 Control Brain Accumulation and Intestinal Disposition of the Novel ROS1/TRK/ALK Inhibitor Repotrectinib, While OATP1A/1B, ABCG2, and CYP3A Limit Its Oral Availability.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Oct 21;13(11). Epub 2021 Oct 21.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Repotrectinib shows high activity against ROS1/TRK/ALK fusion-positive cancers in preclinical studies. We explored the roles of multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the OATP1A/1B uptake transporter(s), and the CYP3A complex in pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of repotrectinib in genetically modified mouse models. In vitro, human ABCB1 and ABCG2, and mouse Abcg2 efficiently transported repotrectinib with efflux transport ratios of 13.5, 5.6, and 40, respectively. Oral repotrectinib (10 mg/kg) showed higher plasma exposures in Abcg2-deficient mouse strains. Brain-to-plasma ratios were increased in (4.1-fold) and (14.2-fold) compared to wild-type mice, but not in single mice. Small intestinal content recovery of repotrectinib was decreased 4.9-fold in and 13.6-fold in mice. Intriguingly, mice displayed transient, mild, likely CNS-localized toxicity. Oatp1a/1b deficiency caused a 2.3-fold increased oral availability and corresponding decrease in liver distribution of repotrectinib. In mice, repotrectinib plasma AUC was 2.3-fold increased, and subsequently reduced 2.0-fold in humanized CYP3A4 transgenic mice. Collectively, Abcb1 and Abcg2 restrict repotrectinib brain accumulation and possibly toxicity, and control its intestinal disposition. Abcg2 also limits repotrectinib oral availability. Oatp1a/1b mediates repotrectinib liver uptake, thus reducing its systemic exposure. Systemic exposure of repotrectinib is also substantially limited by CYP3A activity. These insights may be useful to optimize the therapeutic application of repotrectinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13111761DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8619046PMC
October 2021

P-Glycoprotein (ABCB1/MDR1) and BCRP (ABCG2) Limit Brain Accumulation and Cytochrome P450-3A (CYP3A) Restricts Oral Exposure of the RET Inhibitor Selpercatinib (RETEVMO).

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021 Oct 27;14(11). Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Selpercatinib is a targeted, FDA-approved, oral, small-molecule inhibitor for the treatment of rearranged during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene mutation-positive cancer. Using genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the OATP1A/1B uptake transporters, and the drug-metabolizing CYP3A complex in selpercatinib pharmacokinetics. Selpercatinib was efficiently transported by hABCB1 and mAbcg2, but not hABCG2, and was not a substrate of human OATP1A2, -1B1 or -1B3 in vitro. In vivo, brain and testis penetration were increased by 3.0- and 2.7-fold in mice and by 6.2- and 6.4-fold in mice, respectively. Oatp1a/1b deficiency did not alter selpercatinib pharmacokinetics. The ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar boosted selpercatinib brain penetration in wild-type mice to the levels seen in mice. mice showed a 1.4-fold higher plasma AUC than wild-type mice, which was then 1.6-fold decreased upon transgenic overexpression of human CYP3A4 in liver and intestine. In summary, ABCG2, and especially ABCB1, limit brain and testis penetration of selpercatinib. Elacridar coadministration could mostly reverse these effects, without causing acute toxicity. CYP3A-mediated metabolism can limit selpercatinib oral exposure and hence its tissue concentrations. These insights may be useful in the further clinical development of selpercatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph14111087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8617681PMC
October 2021

P-Glycoprotein (ABCB1/MDR1) Controls Brain Penetration and Intestinal Disposition of the PARP1/2 Inhibitor Niraparib.

Mol Pharm 2021 12 3;18(12):4371-4384. Epub 2021 Nov 3.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Niraparib (Zejula), a selective oral PARP1/2 inhibitor registered for ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer treatment, is under investigation for other malignancies, including brain tumors. We explored the impact of the ABCB1 and ABCG2 multidrug efflux transporters, the OATP1A/1B uptake transporters, and the CYP3A drug-metabolizing complex on oral niraparib pharmacokinetics, using wild-type and genetically modified mouse and cell line models. , human ABCB1 and mouse Abcg2 transported niraparib moderately. Compared to wild-type mice, niraparib brain-to-plasma ratios were 6- to 7-fold increased in 1/1 and 1/1;2 but not in single 2 mice, while niraparib plasma exposure at later time points was ∼2-fold increased. Niraparib recovery in the small intestinal content was markedly reduced in the Abcb1a/1b-deficient strains. Pretreatment of wild-type mice with oral elacridar, an ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor, increased niraparib brain concentration and reduced small intestinal content recovery to levels observed in 1/1;2 mice. Oatp1a/1b deletion did not significantly affect niraparib oral bioavailability or liver distribution but decreased metabolite M1 liver uptake. No significant effects of mouse 3 ablation were observed, but overexpression of transgenic human CYP3A4 unexpectedly increased niraparib plasma exposure. Thus, Abcb1 deficiency markedly increased niraparib brain distribution and reduced its small intestinal content recovery, presumably through reduced biliary excretion and/or decreased direct intestinal excretion. Elacridar pretreatment inhibited both processes completely. Clinically, the negligible role of OATP1 and CYP3A could be advantageous for niraparib, diminishing drug-drug interaction or interindividual variation risks involving these proteins. These findings may support the further clinical development and application of niraparib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.1c00553DOI Listing
December 2021

ABCB1 and ABCG2 limit brain penetration and, together with CYP3A4, total plasma exposure of abemaciclib and its active metabolites.

Pharmacol Res 2022 04 23;178:105954. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Abemaciclib is the third cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor approved for the treatment of breast cancer and currently under investigation for other malignancies, including brain cancer. Primarily CYP3A4 metabolizes abemaciclib, forming three active metabolites (M2, M20 and M18) that are likely relevant for abemaciclib efficacy and toxicity. We investigated the impact of ABCB1 (P-gp), ABCG2 (BCRP) and CYP3A on the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of abemaciclib and its metabolites using genetically modified mice. In vitro, abemaciclib was efficiently transported by hABCB1 and mAbcg2, and slightly by hABCG2, but the active metabolites were transported even better. Upon oral administration of 10 mg/kg abemaciclib, absence of Abcg2 and especially Abcb1a/1b significantly increased the plasma AUC and C of M2 and M18. Furthermore, the relative brain penetration of abemaciclib, M2 and M20 was dramatically increased by 25-, 4- and 60-fold, respectively, in Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice, and to a lesser extent in single Abcb1a/1b- or Abcg2-deficient mice. The recovery of all active compounds in the small intestine content was profoundly reduced in Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice, with smaller effects in single Abcb1a/1b and Abcg2 mice. Our results indicate that Abcb1a/1b and Abcg2 cooperatively and profoundly limit the brain penetration of abemaciclib and its active metabolites, and likely also participate in their hepatobiliary or direct intestinal elimination. Moreover, transgenic human CYP3A4 drastically reduced the abemaciclib plasma AUC and C by 7.5- and 5.6-fold, respectively, relative to Cyp3a mice. These insights may help to optimize the clinical development of abemaciclib, especially for the treatment of brain malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105954DOI Listing
April 2022

ABCB1 and ABCG2, but not CYP3A4 limit oral availability and brain accumulation of the RET inhibitor pralsetinib.

Pharmacol Res 2021 10 25;172:105850. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Pralsetinib is an FDA-approved oral small-molecule inhibitor for treatment of rearranged during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer. We investigated how the efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the SLCO1A/1B uptake transporters and the drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A influence pralsetinib pharmacokinetics.

Experimental Approach: In vitro, transepithelial pralsetinib transport was assessed. In vivo, pralsetinib (10 mg/kg) was administered orally to relevant genetically modified mouse models. Pralsetinib concentrations in cell medium, plasma samples and organ homogenates were measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

Key Results: Pralsetinib was efficiently transported by human (h)ABCB1 and mouse (m)Abcg2, but not hACBG2. In vivo, mAbcb1a/1b markedly and mAbcg2 slightly limited pralsetinib brain penetration (6.3-and 1.8-fold, respectively). Testis distribution showed similar results. Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice showed 1.5-fold higher plasma exposure, 23-fold increased brain penetration, and 4-fold reduced recovery of pralsetinib in the small intestinal content. mSlco1a/1b deficiency did not affect pralsetinib oral availability or tissue exposure. Oral coadministration of the ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar boosted pralsetinib plasma exposure (1.3-fold) and brain penetration (19.6-fold) in wild-type mice. Additionally, pralsetinib was a modest substrate of mCYP3A, but not of hCYP3A4, which did not noticeably restrict the oral availability or tissue distribution of pralsetinib.

Conclusions And Implications: SLCO1A/1B and CYP3A4 are unlikely to affect the pharmacokinetics of pralsetinib, but ABCG2 and especially ABCB1 markedly limit its brain and testis penetration, as well as oral availability. These effects are mostly reversed by oral coadministration of the ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar. These insights may be useful in the further clinical development of pralsetinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105850DOI Listing
October 2021

ABCB1 and ABCG2 Restrict Brain and Testis Accumulation and, Alongside CYP3A, Limit Oral Availability of the Novel TRK Inhibitor Selitrectinib.

Mol Cancer Ther 2021 06 30;20(6):1173-1182. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Selitrectinib (BAY2731954; LOXO-195) is a promising oral tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitor currently in phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of histology-agnostic cancers positive for TRK fusions. With therapeutic resistance eventually developing with first-generation TRK inhibitors, selitrectinib was designed to overcome resistance mediated by acquired kinase domain mutations. Using genetically modified mouse models and pharmacological inhibitors, we investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, and the drug-metabolizing CYP3A enzyme complex in selitrectinib pharmacokinetics. , selitrectinib was markedly transported by mouse Abcg2 and human ABCB1, and modestly by human ABCG2. Following oral administration at 10 mg/kg, selitrectinib brain-to-plasma ratios were increased in (twofold) and (5.8-fold) compared with wild-type mice, but not in single mice. Testis distribution showed similar results. mAbcb1a/1b and mAbcg2 each restricted the plasma exposure of selitrectinib: With both systems absent oral availability increased by 1.7-fold. Oral administration of the ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar boosted plasma exposure and brain accumulation in wild-type mice to the same levels as seen in mice. In mice, plasma exposure of selitrectinib over 4 hours was increased by 1.4-fold and subsequently reduced by 2.3-fold upon transgenic overexpression of human CYP3A4 in liver and intestine. The relative tissue distribution of selitrectinib remained unaltered. Thus, selitrectinib brain accumulation and oral availability are substantially restricted by ABCB1 and ABCG2, and this can be reversed by pharmacological inhibition. Moreover, oral availability of selitrectinib is limited by CYP3A activity. These insights may be useful to optimize the clinical application of selitrectinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-20-0705DOI Listing
June 2021

The role of drug efflux and uptake transporters ABCB1 (P-gp), ABCG2 (BCRP) and OATP1A/1B and of CYP3A4 in the pharmacokinetics of the CDK inhibitor milciclib.

Eur J Pharm Sci 2021 Apr 30;159:105740. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

The promising anticancer drug milciclib potently inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 2 and tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) A, and is currently in phase II clinical studies. To characterize factors affecting milciclib pharmacokinetics, we investigated whether milciclib is a substrate of the multidrug efflux and uptake transporters ABCB1 (P-gp), ABCG2 (BCRP), and OATP1A/1B, and the drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A, using genetically-modified mouse models and Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK-II) cells. In vitro, milciclib was transported by mAbcg2, and this was inhibited by the ABCG2 inhibitor Ko143. Upon oral administration of milciclib, its plasma exposure in Abcb1a/1b, Abcg2, and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice was similar to that found in wild-type mice. Milciclib showed good brain penetration even in wild-type mice (brain-to-plasma ratio of 1.2), but this was further increased by 5.2-fold when both Abcb1 and Abcg2 were ablated, and to a lesser extent in single Abcb1- or Abcg2-deficient mice. Oatp1a/1b deficiency had only a minor impact on the milciclib plasma AUC and C. The milciclib AUC increased 1.9-fold in Cyp3a mice but decreased only 1.3-fold upon overexpression of human CYP3A4. Thus, ABCB1 and ABCG2 cooperatively limit milciclib brain penetration. The low impact of OATP1 and CYP3A could be clinically favorable for milciclib, reducing the risks of unintended drug-drug interactions or interindividual variation in CYP3A4 activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2021.105740DOI Listing
April 2021

Human organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 1B3 and mouse OATP1A/1B affect liver accumulation of Ochratoxin A in mice.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2020 08 26;401:115072. Epub 2020 May 26.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a dietary mycotoxin that can cause nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity. We found that in mice OTA is transported by the drug transporters mouse (m)ABCB1 and/or mABCG2, mOATP1A/1B, and human (h)OATP1B3. The complete deletion of mABCB1 and mABCG2 resulted in ~2-fold higher OTA liver and kidney accumulation upon intravenous injection. Upon oral administration, absence of mOATP1A/1B led to a substantial (>3-fold) decrease in hepatic and small intestinal exposure of OTA. Furthermore, in humanized mouse strains, hepatic expression of transgenic hOATP1B3, but not hOATP1B1, partly reversed the reduced liver concentration of OTA in mOATP1A/1B knockout mice. These data indicate that transgenic hOATP1B3 can significantly transport OTA into the liver, and can at least partly compensate for the loss of the mOATP1A/1B transporters. This study shows that some ABC and OATP transporters can substantially affect the pharmacokinetics of OTA, which might have implications for its toxicity behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2020.115072DOI Listing
August 2020

Brain accumulation of tivozanib is restricted by ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein) and ABCG2 (breast cancer resistance protein) in mice.

Int J Pharm 2020 May 28;581:119277. Epub 2020 Mar 28.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Tivozanib is a potent and selective inhibitor of VEGFR1-3, recently approved by the EMA for first-line treatment of renal cell carcinoma. We used wild-type, knockout, and transgenic mouse strains to study the effects of the drug transporters ABCB1, ABCG2, and OATP1A/1B, and of the CYP3A enzymes on the oral availability and tissue distribution of tivozanib. Tivozanib was transported by human ABCB1 and mouse Abcg2 in polarized MDCK-II cells. Upon oral administration, tivozanib showed rapid absorption and the plasma concentration-time curves showed secondary peaks in all mouse strains, suggesting enterohepatic recirculation. The brain-to-plasma ratios were significantly increased in Abcb1a/1b (2.2-fold) and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 (2.6-fold) mice compared to wild-type mice, indicating a modest protective role of these transporters in the blood-brain barrier. Slco1a/1b mice showed a 1.2-fold lower liver-to-plasma ratio than wild-type mice, suggesting a minor role of mOatp1a/1b in tivozanib liver distribution. Oral plasma pharmacokinetics of tivozanib was not significantly altered in these mouse strains, nor in Cyp3a knockout and CYP3A4-humanized mice. The modest effect of ABC transporters on tivozanib brain accumulation, if also true in humans, might mean that this drug is not strongly limited in its therapeutic efficacy against malignant lesions situated partly or completely behind the blood-brain barrier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119277DOI Listing
May 2020

OATP1A/1B, CYP3A, ABCB1, and ABCG2 limit oral availability of the NTRK inhibitor larotrectinib, while ABCB1 and ABCG2 also restrict its brain accumulation.

Br J Pharmacol 2020 07 12;177(13):3060-3074. Epub 2020 Apr 12.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background And Purpose: Larotrectinib is a FDA-approved oral small-molecule inhibitor for treatment of neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase fusion-positive cancer. We here investigated the functions of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the SLCO1A/1B (OATP1A/1B) uptake transporters, and the multispecific drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A in larotrectinib pharmacokinetic behaviour.

Experimental Approach: In vitro, transepithelial drug transport and uptake assays were performed. In vivo, larotrectinib (10 mg·kg ) was administered orally to relevant genetically modified mouse models. Cell medium, plasma samples, and organ homogenates were measured by a sensitive and specific LC-MS/MS larotrectinib assay.

Key Results: In vitro, larotrectinib was avidly transported by human (h) ABCB1 and mouse (m) Abcg2 efficiently by hABCG2 and modestly by hOATP1A2. In vivo, both mAbcb1a/1b and mAbcg2 markedly limited larotrectinib oral availability and brain and testis accumulation (by 2.1-fold, 10.4-fold, and 2.7-fold, respectively), with mAbcb1a/1b playing a more prominent role. mOatp1a/1b also restricted larotrectinib oral availability (by 3.8-fold) and overall tissue exposure, apparently by mediating substantial uptake into the liver, thus likely facilitating hepatobiliary excretion. Additionally, larotrectinib is an excellent substrate of CYP3A, which restricts the oral availability of larotrectinib and hence its tissue exposure.

Conclusions And Implications: ABCG2 and especially ABCB1 limit the oral availability and brain and testis penetration of larotrectinib, while OATP1A/1B transporters restrict its systemic exposure by mediating hepatic uptake, thus allowing hepatobiliary excretion. CYP3A-mediated metabolism can strongly limit larotrectinib oral availability and hence its tissue concentrations. These insights may be useful in the further clinical development of larotrectinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.15034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7279963PMC
July 2020

P-glycoprotein (ABCB1/MDR1) limits brain accumulation and Cytochrome P450-3A (CYP3A) restricts oral availability of the novel FGFR4 inhibitor fisogatinib (BLU-554).

Int J Pharm 2020 Jan 20;573:118842. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Fisogatinib (BLU-554) is a highly selective and potent oral fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) inhibitor currently in Phase I clinical trials for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Using (male) genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the OATP1A/1B uptake transporters, and the drug-metabolizing CYP3A complex in fisogatinib pharmacokinetics. In vitro, fisogatinib was modestly transported by hABCB1. Upon oral administration of 10 mg/kg fisogatinib, its brain accumulation was substantially increased in Abcb1a/1b (6.3-fold) and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice (7.2-fold) compared to wild-type mice, but not in single Abcg2 mice. The oral plasma pharmacokinetics and liver distribution of fisogatinib were not significantly affected by the absence of Oatp1a/1b drug uptake transporters. We further found that plasma exposure of fisogatinib in Cyp3a mice increased by 1.4-fold, and was subsequently 1.6-fold decreased upon transgenic overexpression of human CYP3A4 in liver and intestine. However, the relative tissue distribution of fisogatinib remained unaltered. In summary, in mice, fisogatinib brain accumulation is substantially limited by ABCB1 P-glycoprotein in the blood-brain barrier, and oral availability of fisogatinib is markedly restricted by CYP3A activity. The obtained insights may be useful for optimizing the clinical efficacy and safety of fisogatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.118842DOI Listing
January 2020

P-glycoprotein Limits Ribociclib Brain Exposure and CYP3A4 Restricts Its Oral Bioavailability.

Mol Pharm 2019 09 5;16(9):3842-3852. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Division of Pharmacology , The Netherlands Cancer Institute , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Ribociclib is a CDK4/6 inhibitor recently approved for the treatment of some types of breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor. It is currently investigated in the clinic to treat other malignancies, including brain tumors. Using and genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the effect of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, and the drug-metabolizing CYP3A enzymes on ribociclib pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution. , ribociclib was avidly transported by human ABCB1, but not by human ABCG2 and only modestly by mouse Abcg2. Upon oral administration at 20 mg/kg, the plasma AUC of ribociclib was increased by 2.3-fold, and its terminal elimination was delayed in compared to wild-type mice. The brain-to-plasma ratios of ribociclib were increased by at least 23-fold relative to wild-type mice in and mice, but not noticeably in mice. Oral coadministration of elacridar, an ABCB1 and ABCG2 inhibitor, increased the brain penetration of ribociclib in wild-type mice to the same level as seen in mice. Plasma exposure of ribociclib further decreased by 3.8-fold when transgenic human CYP3A4 was overexpressed in -deficient mice. Ribociclib penetration into the brain is thus drastically limited by ABCB1 in the blood-brain barrier, but coadministration of elacridar can fully reverse this process. Moreover, human CYP3A4 can extensively metabolize ribociclib and strongly restrict its oral bioavailability. The insights obtained from this study may be useful to further optimize the clinical application of ribociclib, especially for the treatment of (metastatic) brain tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.9b00475DOI Listing
September 2019

P-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) controls brain accumulation and intestinal disposition of the novel TGF-β signaling pathway inhibitor galunisertib.

Int J Cancer 2020 03 15;146(6):1631-1642. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Galunisertib (LY2157299), a promising small-molecule inhibitor of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) receptor, is currently in mono- and combination therapy trials for various cancers including glioblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer. Using genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, the OATP1A/1B uptake transporters and the drug-metabolizing CYP3A complex in galunisertib pharmacokinetics. In vitro, galunisertib was vigorously transported by human ABCB1, and moderately by mouse Abcg2. Orally administered galunisertib (20 mg/kg) was very rapidly absorbed. Galunisertib brain-to-plasma ratios were increased by ~24-fold in Abcb1a/1b and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice compared to wild-type mice, but not in single Abcg2 mice, whereas galunisertib oral availability was not markedly affected. However, recovery of galunisertib in the small intestinal lumen was strongly reduced in Abcb1a/1b and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice. Oral coadministration of the ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar boosted galunisertib brain accumulation in wild-type mice to equal the levels seen in Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice. Oatp1a/1b deficiency did not alter oral galunisertib pharmacokinetics or liver distribution. Cyp3a mice showed a 1.9-fold higher plasma AUC than wild-type mice, but this difference disappeared over 8 hr. Also, transgenic human CYP3A4 overexpression did not significantly alter oral galunisertib pharmacokinetics. Abcb1 thus markedly restricts galunisertib brain penetration and affects its intestinal disposition, possibly through biliary excretion. Elacridar coadministration could fully inhibit both processes, without causing acute toxicity. Moreover, mouse Cyp3a, but not human CYP3A4, may eliminate galunisertib at high plasma concentrations. These insights may help to guide the further clinical development and application of galunisertib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32568DOI Listing
March 2020

Oral coadministration of elacridar and ritonavir enhances brain accumulation and oral availability of the novel ALK/ROS1 inhibitor lorlatinib.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm 2019 Mar 17;136:120-130. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Lorlatinib, a novel generation oral anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS1 inhibitor with high membrane and blood-brain barrier permeability, recently received accelerated approval for treatment of ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and its further clinical development is ongoing. We previously found that the efflux transporter P-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) restricts lorlatinib brain accumulation and that the drug-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450-3A (CYP3A) limits its oral availability. Using genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the impact of targeted pharmacological inhibitors on lorlatinib pharmacokinetics and bioavailability. Upon oral administration of lorlatinib, the plasma AUC in CYP3A4-humanized mice was ∼1.8-fold lower than in wild-type and Cyp3a mice. Oral coadministration of the CYP3A inhibitor ritonavir caused reversion to the AUC levels seen in wild-type and Cyp3a mice, without altering the relative tissue distribution of lorlatinib. Moreover, simultaneous pharmacological inhibition of P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4 with oral elacridar and ritonavir in CYP3A4-humanized mice profoundly increased lorlatinib brain concentrations, but not its oral availability or other relative tissue distribution. Oral lorlatinib pharmacokinetics was not significantly affected by absence of the multispecific Oatp1a/1b drug uptake transporters. The absolute oral bioavailability of lorlatinib over 8 h in wild-type, Cyp3a, and CYP3A4-humanized mice was 81.6%, 72.9%, and 58.5%, respectively. Lorlatinib thus has good oral bioavailability, which is markedly restricted by human CYP3A4 but not by mouse Cyp3a. Pharmacological inhibition of CYP3A4 reversed these effects, and simultaneous P-gp inhibition with elacridar boosted absolute brain levels of lorlatinib by 16-fold without obvious toxicity. These insights may help to optimize the clinical application of lorlatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2019.01.016DOI Listing
March 2019

P-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2) limit brain accumulation of the FLT3 inhibitor quizartinib in mice.

Int J Pharm 2019 Feb 12;556:172-180. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Quizartinib, a second-generation FLT3 inhibitor, is in clinical development for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. We studied its pharmacokinetic interactions with the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2 and the multidrug metabolizing enzyme CYP3A, using in vitro transport assays and knockout and transgenic mouse models. Quizartinib was transported by human ABCB1 in vitro, and by mouse (m)Abcb1 and mAbcg2 in vivo. Upon oral administration, the brain accumulation of quizartinib was 6-fold decreased by mAbcb1 and 2-fold by mAbcg2 (together: 12-fold). Unexpectedly, the absence of mAbcb1 resulted in a ∼2-fold lower plasma exposure in Abcb1a/1b and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice, suggesting that loss of mAbcb1 causes compensatory alterations in alternative quizartinib elimination or uptake systems. mAbcb1 and mAbcg2 themselves did not appear to restrict quizartinib oral availability. Oral and intravenous pharmacokinetics of quizartinib were not substantially altered between wild-type, Cyp3a knockout and CYP3A4-humanized mice. All three strains showed relatively high (33-51%) oral bioavailability. If this also applies in humans, this would suggest a limited risk of CYP3A-related inter-individual variation in exposure for this drug. Our results provide a possible rationale for using pharmacological ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitors together with quizartinib when treating malignant lesions situated in part or in whole behind the blood-brain barrier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.12.014DOI Listing
February 2019

P-glycoprotein and breast cancer resistance protein restrict brigatinib brain accumulation and toxicity, and, alongside CYP3A, limit its oral availability.

Pharmacol Res 2018 11 22;137:47-55. Epub 2018 Sep 22.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Pharmacology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Brigatinib is an FDA-approved oral anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor for treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Using genetically modified mouse models, we investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, and the multispecific drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3 A in plasma pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of brigatinib. In vitro, brigatinib was exceptionally well transported by human ABCB1 and mouse Abcg2, and efficiently by human ABCG2. Following oral brigatinib administration (10 mg/kg), brain accumulation was dramatically increased in Abcb1a/1b (19.3-fold) and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2(41.8-fold), but not in single Abcg2 mice compared to wild-type mice. Brigatinib testis accumulation showed qualitatively similar behavior. mAbcb1a/1b and mAbcg2 together restricted systemic exposure of brigatinib: with both systems absent oral availability increased 1.9-fold. Coadministration of elacridar, an ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor, caused a pronounced increase (36-fold) in brain-to-plasma ratios of brigatinib, approaching the levels seen in Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice. Unexpectedly, lethal toxicity of oral brigatinib was observed in mice with genetic knockout or pharmacological inhibition of mAbcb1a/1b and mAbcg2, indicating a pronounced protective role for these transporters. In Cyp3a mice, brigatinib plasma exposure increased 1.3-fold, and was subsequently 1.8-fold reduced by transgenic overexpression of human CYP3 A4 in liver and intestine. The relative tissue distribution of brigatinib, however, remained unaltered. ABCB1 and ABCG2 thus limit brain accumulation, toxicity, and systemic exposure of brigatinib, whereas CYP3 A also markedly restricts its oral availability. Unexpected toxicities should therefore be carefully monitored when brigatinib is coadministered with ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitors in patients. Collectively, these insights may support the clinical application of brigatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2018.09.020DOI Listing
November 2018

P-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) restricts brain accumulation and cytochrome P450-3A (CYP3A) limits oral availability of the novel ALK/ROS1 inhibitor lorlatinib.

Int J Cancer 2018 10 10;143(8):2029-2038. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Division of Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Lorlatinib (PF-06463922) is a promising oral anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS1 inhibitor currently in Phase III clinical trials for treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) containing an ALK rearrangement. With therapy-resistant brain metastases a major concern in NSCLC, lorlatinib was designed to have high membrane and blood-brain barrier permeability. We investigated the roles of the multidrug efflux transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2, and the multispecific drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A in plasma pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of lorlatinib using genetically modified mouse strains. In vitro, human ABCB1 and mouse Abcg2 modestly transported lorlatinib. Following oral lorlatinib administration (at 10 mg/kg), brain accumulation of lorlatinib, while relatively high in wild-type mice, was still fourfold increased in Abcb1a/1b and Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice, but not in single Abcg2 mice. Lorlatinib plasma levels were not altered. Oral coadministration of the ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor elacridar increased the brain accumulation of lorlatinib in wild-type mice fourfold, that is, to the same level as in Abcb1a/1b;Abcg2 mice, without altering plasma exposure. Similar results were obtained for lorlatinib testis accumulation. In Cyp3a mice, the plasma exposure of lorlatinib was increased 1.3-fold, but was then twofold reduced upon transgenic overexpression of human CYP3A4 in liver and intestine, whereas relative tissue distribution of lorlatinib remained unaltered. Our data indicate that lorlatinib brain accumulation is substantially limited by P-glycoprotein/ABCB1 in the blood-brain barrier, but this can be effectively reversed by elacridar coadministration. Moreover, oral availability of lorlatinib is markedly restricted by CYP3A4 activity. These insights may be used in optimizing the therapeutic application of lorlatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31582DOI Listing
October 2018

Synovial IL-21/TNF-producing CD4 T cells induce joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis by inducing matrix metalloproteinase production by fibroblast-like synoviocytes.

J Leukoc Biol 2017 03 12;101(3):775-783. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Department of Immunology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, London, United Kingdom.

Bone and cartilage destruction is one of the key manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the role of T helper (Th)17 cells in these processes is clear, the role of IL-21-producing cells T cells has been neglected. We sought to investigate the role of IL-21 in RA by focusing on the functional characteristics of the main producers of this cytokine, synovial CD4IL-21 T cells. We show that the frequency of both synovial fluid (SF) CD4IL-21 or CD4IL-21TNF T cells in patients with RA was significantly higher compared with patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The frequency of peripheral blood (PB) IL-21CD4 T cells in patients with RA positively correlated with disease activity score 28 (DAS28), serum anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies and IgM-rheumatoid factor (IgM-RF). IL-21 levels in RA SF were associated with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3. Related to this, IL-21 induced significantly the secretion of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in RA synovial biopsies. Sorted SF CD4IL-21 T cells significantly induced the release of MMP-1 and MMP-3 by fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) compared with medium or CD4IL-21 T cells in a coculture system. Neutralization of both IL-21 and TNF resulted in significantly less production of MMP by FLS. The results of this study indicate a new role for synovial CD4IL-21TNF T cells in promoting synovial inflammation/joint destruction in patients with RA. Importantly, IL-21 blockade in combination with anti-TNF might be an effective therapy in patients with RA by inhibiting MMP-induced inflammation/joint destruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.5A0516-217RRDOI Listing
March 2017

Reduced CLEC9A expression in synovial tissue of psoriatic arthritis patients after adalimumab therapy.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2016 09 13;55(9):1575-84. Epub 2016 May 13.

Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology Department Experimental Immunology Department

Objectives: We aimed to investigate the early changes in expression of C-type lectin domain family 9, member A (CLEC9A), a C-type lectin that is specifically expressed by the CD141(+) dendritic cell subset that is involved in cross-presentation to CD8(+) T cells, by evaluating gene and/or protein expression in three different compartments [skin, synovial tissue (ST) and serum] after short-term adalimumab treatment in PsA patients compared with placebo.

Methods: Patients with active PsA and psoriasis were randomized to receive adalimumab or placebo for 4 weeks. Synovial and skin biopsies were obtained before and after 4 weeks of treatment and serum samples 4 weeks, 12 weeks and 1 year after treatment. Skin and serum from healthy donors were used as control. CLEC9A expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry, double immunofluorescence using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2'-deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate nick-end labelling (TUNEL), quantitative PCR and ELISA.

Results: CLEC9A expression was significantly higher in psoriatic skin compared with healthy donor. In psoriatic skin and PsA ST, CLEC9A(+) cells were in close proximity to TUNEL(+) cells. SF CLEC9A levels were significantly lower compared with paired PsA serum. Adalimumab treatment did not affect CLEC9A serum level and skin expression. However, ST CLEC9A protein expression was significantly decreased after adalimumab treatment compared with the placebo group while CLEC9A gene expression remained unchanged. There was a positive correlation between T cell numbers and ST CLEC9A protein expression. CD141(+) cell numbers and chemokine (C motif) receptor 1 expression were not affected with adalimumab treatment.

Conclusion: Altogether, the present study suggests that the downregulation of synovial CLEC9A might be associated with a novel mechanism by which anti-TNF therapy might reduce CD8-mediated inflammation in PsA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kew204DOI Listing
September 2016

Heterogeneous expression pattern of interleukin 17A (IL-17A), IL-17F and their receptors in synovium of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis: possible explanation for nonresponse to anti-IL-17 therapy?

Arthritis Res Ther 2014 Aug 22;16(4):426. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Introduction: Accumulating evidence suggests an important role for interleukin 17 (IL-17) in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Accordingly, clinical trials aimed at blocking IL-17 have been initiated, but clinical results between patients and across different diseases have been highly variable. The objective was to determine the variability in expression of IL-17A, IL-17F and their receptors IL-17RA and IL-17RC in the synovia of patients with arthritis.

Methods: Synovial biopsies were obtained from patients with RA (n = 11), PsA (n = 15) and inflammatory osteoarthritis (OA, n = 14). For comparison, synovia from noninflamed knee joints (n = 7) obtained from controls were included. Frozen sections were stained for IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC and evaluated by digital image analysis. We used confocal microscopy to determine which cells in the synovium express IL-17A and IL-17F, double-staining with CD4, CD8, CD15, CD68, CD163, CD31, von Willebrand factor, peripheral lymph node address in, lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1, mast cell tryptase and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt).

Results: IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC were abundantly expressed in synovial tissues of all patient groups. Whereas IL-17RA was present mostly in the synovial sublining, IL-17RC was abundantly expressed in the intimal lining layer. Digital image analysis showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase of only IL-17A in arthritis patients compared to noninflamed control tissues. The expression of IL-17A, IL-17F and their receptors was similar in the different patient groups, but highly variable between individual patients. CD4+ and CD8+ cells coexpressed IL-17A, and few cells coexpressed IL-17F. IL-17A and IL-17F were not expressed by CD15+ neutrophils. Mast cells were only occasionally positive for IL-17A or IL-17F. Interestingly, IL-17A and IL-17F staining was also observed in macrophages, as well as in blood vessels and lymphatics. This staining probably reflects receptor-bound cytokine staining. Many infiltrated cells were positive for the transcription factor RORγt. Colocalisation between RORγt and IL-17A and IL-17F indicates local IL-17 production.

Conclusions: Increased expression of IL-17A is not restricted to synovial tissues of RA and PsA patients; it is also observed in inflammatory OA. The heterogeneous expression levels may explain nonresponse to anti-IL-17 therapy in subsets of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-014-0426-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4292832PMC
August 2014

FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L)/CD135 axis in rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2013 ;15(6):R209

Introduction: The FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L)/CD135 axis plays a fundamental role in proliferation and differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs). As DCs play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) immunopathology we studied in detail the Flt3L/CD135 axis in RA patients.

Methods: The levels of Flt3L in (paired) serum and synovial fluid (SF) were quantified by enzyme-link immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Expression of Flt3L and CD135 in paired peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) was quantified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The expression of Flt3L, CD135 and TNF-Converting Enzyme (TACE) in synovial tissues (STs) and in vitro polarized macrophages and monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) was assessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). CD135 ST expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and TACE ST expression was assessed by immunofluorescence. Flt3L serum levels were assessed in RA patients treated with oral prednisolone or adalimumab.

Results: Flt3L levels in RA serum, SF and ST were significantly elevated compared to gout patients and healthy individuals (HI). RA SF monocytes, natural killer cells and DCs expressed high levels of Flt3L and CD135 compared to HI. RA ST CD68+ and CD163+ macrophages, CD55+ fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), CD31+ endothelial cells or infiltrating monocytes and CD19+ B cells co-expressed TACE. IFN-γ-differentiated macrophages expressed higher levels of Flt3L compared to other polarized macrophages. Importantly, Flt3L serum levels were reduced by effective therapy.

Conclusions: The Flt3L/CD135 axis is active in RA patients and is responsive to both prednisolone and adalimumab treatment. Conceivably, this ligand receptor pair represents a novel therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar4403DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978611PMC
November 2014

Anti-TNF therapy reduces serum levels of chemerin in rheumatoid arthritis: a new mechanism by which anti-TNF might reduce inflammation.

PLoS One 2013 27;8(2):e57802. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Chemerin is a specific chemoattractant for macrophages and dendritic cells (DC). In addition, it can rapidly stimulate macrophage adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion molecules and is able to activate fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), suggesting a role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Chemerin is also an adipocytokine that has been related to the inflammatory state of endothelial cells and as such could be involved in the changes in endothelial cells in RA and perhaps increased cardiovascular morbidity. We investigated whether anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) treatment affects chemerin levels.

Materials And Methods: 49 patients with active RA (disease activity score evaluated in 28 joints (DAS28) ≥3.2) were started on adalimumab therapy. Blood was drawn from patients while fasting at baseline and 16 weeks after initiation of treatment. Chemerin serum levels were measured by ELISA and related to disease activity, mediators of inflammation and known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Results: Adalimumab therapy reduced chemerin serum levels, which was correlated with the reduction in DAS28 (r = 0.37, p = 0.009). In addition, the decrease in chemerin serum levels after anti-TNF treatment was associated with the decrease in serum levels of IL-6 (r = 0.39, p = 0.033) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) (r = 0.31, p = 0.049). Baseline chemerin serum levels were not related to traditional risk factors for atherosclerosis, except perhaps for smoking (p = 0.07).

Conclusions: This exploratory study shows that adalimumab therapy lowers chemerin levels, which is associated with the reduction in disease activity parameters, and inflammatory mediators IL-6 and MIF. This suggests a possible involvement of chemerin in the migration/retention of macrophages in the synovium. TRIAL REGISTRATION NEDERLANDS TRIAL REGISTER: NTR 857.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0057802PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584053PMC
September 2013

Expression of IL-20 in synovium and lesional skin of patients with psoriatic arthritis: differential response to alefacept treatment.

Arthritis Res Ther 2012 Sep 24;14(5):R200. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Introduction: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory joint disease associated with psoriasis. Alefacept (a lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-3 Ig fusion protein that binds to CD2 and functions as an antagonist to T-cell activation) has been shown to result in improvement in psoriasis but has limited effectiveness in PsA. Interleukin-20 (IL-20) is a key proinflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. The effects of alefacept treatment on IL-20 expression in the synovium of patients with psoriasis and PsA are currently unknown.

Methods: Eleven patients with active PsA and chronic plaque psoriasis were treated with alefacept (7.5 mg per week for 12 weeks) in an open-label study. Skin biopsies were taken before and after 1 and 6 weeks, whereas synovial biopsies were obtained before and 4 and 12 weeks after treatment. Synovial biopsies from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n = 10) were used as disease controls. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to detect IL-20 expression, and stained synovial tissue sections were evaluated with digital image analysis. Double staining was performed with IL-20 and CD68 (macrophages), and conversely with CD55 (fibroblast-like synoviocytes, FLSs) to determine the phenotype of IL-20-positive cells in PsA synovium. IL-20 expression in skin sections (n = 6) was analyzed semiquantitatively.

Results: IL-20 was abundantly expressed in both PsA and RA synovial tissues. In inflamed PsA synovium, CD68+ macrophages and CD55+ FLSs coexpressed IL-20, and its expression correlated with the numbers of FLSs. IL-20 expression in lesional skin of PsA patients decreased significantly (P = 0.04) 6 weeks after treatment and correlated positively with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). IL-20 expression in PsA synovium was not affected by alefacept.

Conclusions: Conceivably, the relatively limited effectiveness of alefacept in PsA patients (compared with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy) might be explained in part by persistent FLS-derived IL-20 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar4038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3580512PMC
September 2012

Why CCR2 and CCR5 blockade failed and why CCR1 blockade might still be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

PLoS One 2011 1;6(7):e21772. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: The aim of this study was to provide more insight into the question as to why blockade of CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 may have failed in clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, using an in vitro monocyte migration system model.

Methodology/principal Findings: Monocytes from healthy donors (HD; n = 8) or from RA patients (for CCR2 and CCR5 antibody n = 8; for CCR1 blockade n = 13) were isolated from peripheral blood and pre-incubated with different concentrations of either anti-CCR1, anti-CCR2, or anti-CCR5 blocking antibodies (or medium or isotype controls). In addition, a small molecule CCR1 antagonist (BX471) was tested. Chemotaxis was induced by CCL2/MCP-1 (CCR2 ligand), CCL5/RANTES (CCR1 and CCR5 ligand), or by a mix of 5 RA synovial fluids (SFs), and cellular responses compared to chemotaxis in the presence of medium alone. Anti-CCR2 antibody treatment blocked CCL2/MCP-1-induced chemotaxis of both HD and RA monocytes compared to isotype control. Similarly, anti-CCR5 antibody treatment blocked CCL5/RANTES-induced chemotaxis of RA monocytes. While neither CCR2 nor CCR5 blocking antibodies were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis, even when both receptors were blocked simultaneously, both anti-CCR1 antibodies and the CCR1 antagonist were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis.

Conclusions/significance: The RA synovial compartment contains several ligands for CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 as well as other chemokines and receptors involved in monocyte recruitment to the site of inflammation. The results suggest that CCR2 and CCR5 are not critical for the migration of monocytes towards the synovial compartment in RA. In contrast, blockade of CCR1 may be effective. Conceivably, CCR1 blockade failed in clinical trials, not because CCR1 is not a good target, but because very high levels of receptor occupancy at all times may be needed to inhibit monocyte migration in vivo.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021772PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3128605PMC
November 2011

Stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors attenuates collagen-induced arthritis in mice.

Arthritis Rheum 2009 Jan;60(1):114-22

Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: The parasympathetic nervous system, through the vagus nerve, can down-regulate inflammation in vivo by decreasing the release of cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), by activated macrophages. The vagus nerve may exert antiinflammatory actions via a specific effect of its principal neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, on the alpha7 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7nAChR) on macrophages. The present study was undertaken to obtain insight into the role of the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway in arthritis.

Methods: To inhibit the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway, mice were subjected to unilateral cervical vagotomy or sham surgery, after which arthritis was induced with type II collagen. In a separate study, nicotine was added to the drinking water of mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). In addition, we investigated the effects of intraperitoneally (IP)-injected nicotine and the specific alpha7nAChR agonist AR-R17779.

Results: Clinical arthritis was exacerbated by vagotomy and ameliorated by oral nicotine administration. Moreover, oral nicotine inhibited bone degradation and reduced TNFalpha expression in synovial tissue. Both IP-injected nicotine and AR-R17779 ameliorated clinical arthritis and reduced synovial inflammation. This was accompanied by a reduction of TNFalpha levels in both plasma and synovial tissue. The effect of AR-R17779 was more potent compared with that of nicotine and was associated with delayed onset of the disease as well as with protection against joint destruction.

Conclusion: These data provide the first evidence of a role of the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway in the murine CIA model of rheumatoid arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.24177DOI Listing
January 2009

Dendritic cell subsets: their roles in rheumatoid arthritis.

Acta Reumatol Port 2008 Jan-Mar;33(1):35-45

Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Dendritic cells (DC) are now known to influence many different classes of lymphocytes (T, B, NK cells) and many types of T cell responses (Th1/Th2/Th17, regulatory T cells, peripheral T cell deletion). In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) DC have been described and their roles in RA pathogenesis have been implicated. This review summarizes the data obtained so far concerning the functional characterization of several DC subsets in human RA. Moreover, the effect of TNF-alpha blockade on DC phenotype and function is also discussed. As most of the studies on DC in experimental arthritis have been conducted using (immunomodulated/tolerogenic) DC as tools to ameliorate experimental arthritis, we give some examples of how these cells may induce tolerance in vivo. Although a lot of work has been performed so far, the specific and functional roles of DC subsets in human RA and in CIA remain to be established. Achieving a detailed understanding of specific DC functions in RA holds potential for modulating DC for immunotherapy by down-regulating the autoimmune response.
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July 2008
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