Background: Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) are members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily that mediate signalling by 9-cis retinoic acid, a vitamin A derivative. RXRs play key roles not only as homodimers but also as heterodimeric partners, e.g., for retinoic acid receptors, vitamin D receptors, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. The NR family may also play important roles in the development of emphysema. However, the role of RXRs in the pathogenesis of emphysema is not well defined. Methods: We developed a novel RXR partial agonist (NEt-4IB) and investigated its effect and mechanism compared to a full agonist (bexarotene) in a murine model of emphysema. For emphysema induction, BALB/c mice received intraperitoneal cigarette smoke extract (CSE) or intratracheal porcine pancreas elastase (PPE). Treatment with RXR agonists was initiated before or after emphysema induction. Results: Treatment with NEt-4IB significantly suppressed the increase in static lung compliance and emphysematous changes in CSE-induced emphysema and PPE-induced established and progressive emphysema. NEt-4IB significantly suppressed PPE-induced neutrophilic airway inflammation and the levels of keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), C-X-C motif ligand5 (CXCL5), interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-17. NEt-4IB also improved the matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) imbalance and the reduced anti-oxidant activity in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. NEt-4IB suppressed PPE-induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in the airway. Treatment with NEt-4IB and bexarotene significantly suppressed the increase in static lung compliance and emphysematous changes. However, adverse effects of RXR agonists, including hypertriglyceridemia and hepatomegaly, were observed in bexarotene-treated mice but not in NEt-4IB-treated mice. Conclusion: These data suggest that RXRs play crucial roles in emphysema and airway inflammation, and novel partial RXR agonists could be potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of PPE- and CSE-induced emphysema.
- Anti-oxidant activity
- Matrix metalloproteinase-9
- Neutrophilic airway inflammation
- Retinoid X receptor
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine