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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Jul 2022 - 8 Jul 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Jul 01

Eur J Pharmacol

Cinnamoyloxy-mammeisin, a coumarin from propolis of stingless bees, attenuates Th17 cell differentiation and autoimmune inflammation via STAT3 inhibition.


Franchin M, Rosalen P L, da Silva Prado D, César Paraluppi M, Leal Silva R, Damasceno L E A, Morelo D F C, Napimoga M H, Cunha FQ, Alves-Filho JC, Cunha TM
Eur J Pharmacol. 2022 Jul 01:175127.
PMID: 35787889.


T helper 17 (Th17) lymphocytes play a critical role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, mainly by producing the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17). Therefore, Th17 lymphocytes have been considered a strategic target for drug discovery and development. In this study, we investigated the activity and possible mechanisms of action of a 4-phenyl coumarin isolated from propolis, named cinnamoyloxy-mammeisin (CNM), in Th17 cell differentiation and the development of experimental Th17-dependent autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Our data showed that in vitro Th17 cell differentiation was attenuated by CNM treatment in a concentration-dependent manner (1, 3, and 10 μM). This was associated with a reduction in the release of IL-17 (35% inhibition) and interleukin-22 (IL-22, 51% inhibition). Th17-differentiated cells exposed to CNM also downregulated the expression of Th17 hallmarked cell genes, such as RAR-related orphan receptor c (Rorc, 51% inhibition), and interleukin-23 receptor (Il23r, 64% inhibition), indicating possible upstream molecular mechanisms. Mechanistically, CNM significantly reduced the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) during in vitro Th17 cell differentiation. In vivo treatment with CNM (100 μg/kg) reduced the clinical signs of EAE, which was associated with a reduction in Central Nervous System demyelination, neuroinflammation, and Th17 response in the spinal cord and inguinal lymph nodes. Consistent with this, CNM also effectively attenuated human Th17 differentiation in vitro. Collectively, our results highlight the potential of CNM as a new molecule that can modulate Th17 cells via inhibition of STAT3 signaling and, as a result, reduce autoimmune inflammation.