Inhibition of endothelial activation: A new way to treat cerebral malaria?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS Medicine, 2005, 2 (9), pp. 0885 - 0890
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Background: Malaria is still a major public health problem, partly because the pathogenesis of its major complication, cerebral malaria (CM), remains incompletely understood. However tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is thought to play a key role in the development of this neurological syndrome, as well as lymphotoxin α (LT). Methods and Findings: Using an in vitro model of CM based on human brain-derived endothelial cells (HBEC-5i), we demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of LMP-420, a 2-NH2-6-Cl-9-[(5- dihydroxyboryl)-pentyl] purine that is a transcriptional inhibitor of TNF. When added before or concomitantly to TNF, LMP-420 inhibits endothelial cell (EC) activation, i.e., the up-regulation of both ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 on HBEC-5i surfaces. Subsequently, LMP-420 abolishes the cytoadherence of ICAM-1-specific Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized red blood cells on these EC. Identical but weaker effects are observed when LMP-420 is added with LT. LMP-420 also causes a dramatic reduction of HBEC-5i vesiculation induced by TNF or LT stimulation, as assessed by microparticle release. Conclusion: These data provide evidence for a strong in vitro anti-inflammatory effect of LMP-420 and suggest that targeting host cell pathogenic mechanisms might provide a new therapeutic approach to improving the outcome of CM patients. © 2005 Wassmer et al.
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