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Novel Inhibition of MSU Crystal Inflammation

Oct 29, 2019 3:41 pm

Researchers from Washington State University have shown that inhibition of tumor growth factor-β (TGF-β)-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) can effectively downregulate inflammatory mediators and suppress inflammation caused by gout.

Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals directly activate the inflammasome to produce a plethora of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β). 

In an animal model of gout, researchers showed that MSU crystals significantly amplified IL-1β-induced production of IL-6, IL-8, and ENA-78/CXCL5 production.  However when they administered an inhibitor of TAK1, 5Z-7-oxozeaenol, in MSU-induced paw inflammation in C57BL/6 mice, they noted rapid and sustained improvement in inflammation in this paper published in Cellular & Molecular Immunology.

While MSU-induced proinflammatory cytokine production was completely inhibited by 5Z-7-oxozeaenol, suggesting that TAK1 is an important mediator of MSU-induced inflammation.

This discovery has potential as a new treatment strategy for gout.  Moreover, the authors postulate that this method of IL-1 inhibition may be as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, etc.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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