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The potassium channel Kv1.3 is a potentially attractive therapeutic target in T cell-mediated inflammatory diseases, as the activity of antigen-activated T cells is selectively impeded by Kv1.3 inhibition. In this study, we examined Kv1.3 as a potential therapeutic intervention point for ulcerative colitis [UC], and studied the efficacy of DES1, a small-molecule inhibitor of Kv1.3, in vitro and in vivo. Kv1.3 expression on T cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMCs] isolated from donors with and without UC was examined by flow cytometry. In biopsies from UC patients, Kv1.3-expressing CD4+ T cells were detected by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we determined the ability of DES1 to inhibit anti-CD3-driven activation of T cells. In vivo, the efficacy of DES1 was determined in a humanised mouse model of UC and compared with infliximab and tofacitinib in head-to-head studies. Kv1.3 expression was elevated in PBMCs from UC patients and correlated with the prevalence of TH1 and TH2 T cells. Kv1.3 expression was also detected on T cells from biopsies of UC patients. In vitro, DES1 suppressed anti-CD3-driven activation of T cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In vivo, DES1 significantly ameliorated inflammation in the UC model and most effectively so when PBMCs from donors with higher levels of activated T cells were selected for reconstitution. The efficacy of DES1 was comparable to that of either infliximab or tofacitinib. Inhibition of Kv1.3 [by DES1, for instance] appears to be a potential therapeutic intervention strategy for UC patients. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.


Anna-Lena Unterweger, Morten Ø Jensen, Fabrizio Giordanetto, Vishwanath Jogini, Alena Rüschher, Marietta Seuß, Paula Winkelmann, Leandra Koletzko, David E Shaw, Matthias Siebeck, Roswitha Gropp, Florian Beigel, Attila Aszodi. Suppressing Kv1.3 Ion Channel Activity with a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor Ameliorates Inflammation in a Humanised Mouse Model of Ulcerative Colitis. Journal of Crohn's & colitis. 2021 Nov 08;15(11):1943-1958

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PMID: 33891001

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