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A trifluoromethyl analogue of celecoxib exerts beneficial effects in neuroinflammation

Di Penta, A;Chiba, A;Alloza, I;Wyssenbach, A;Yamamura, T;Villoslada, P;Miyake, S;Vandenbroeck, K;

Celecoxib is a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitor. We have previously shown that celecoxib inhibits experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in COX-2-deficient mice, suggestive for a mode of action involving COX2-independent pathways. In the present study, we tested the effect of a trifluoromethyl analogue of celecoxib (TFM-C) with 205-fold lower COX-2 inhibitory activity in two models of neuroinflammation, i.e. cerebellar organotypic cultures challenged with LPS and the EAE mouse model for multiple sclerosis. TFM-C inhibited secretion of IL-1, IL-12 and IL-17, enhanced that of TNF- and RANTES, reduced neuronal axonal damage and protected from oxidative stress in the organotypic model. TFM-C blocked TNF- release in microglial cells through a process involving intracellular retention, but induced TNF- secretion in primary astrocyte cultures. Finally, we demonstrate that TFM-C and celecoxib ameliorated EAE with equal potency. This coincided with reduced secretion of IL-17 and IFN- by MOG-reactive T-cells and of IL-23 and inflammatory cytokines by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Our study reveals that non-coxib analogues of celecoxib may have translational value in the treatment of neuro-inflammatory conditions.