BACKGROUND: Chronic inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms (IAs). DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitors have anti-inflammatory effects, including suppressing macrophage infiltration, in various inflammatory models. We examined whether a DPP-4 inhibitor, anagliptin, could suppress the growth of IAs in a rodent aneurysm model.
METHODS AND RESULTS: IAs were surgically induced in 7-week-old male Sprague Dawley rats, followed by oral administration of 300 mg/kg anagliptin. We measured the morphologic parameters of aneurysms over time and their local inflammatory responses. To investigate the molecular mechanisms, we used lipopolysaccharide-treated RAW264.7 macrophages. In the anagliptin-treated group, aneurysms were significantly smaller 2 to 4 weeks after IA induction. Anagliptin inhibited the accumulation of macrophages in IAs, reduced the expression of MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein 1), and suppressed the phosphorylation of p65. In lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, anagliptin treatment significantly reduced the production of tumor necrosis factor α, MCP-1, and IL-6 (interleukin 6) independent of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1), the key mediator in the antidiabetic effects of DPP-4 inhibitors. Notably, anagliptin activated ERK5 (extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5), which mediates the anti-inflammatory effects of statins, in RAW264.7 macrophages. Preadministration with an ERK5 inhibitor blocked the inhibitory effect of anagliptin on MCP-1 and IL-6 expression. Accordingly, the ERK5 inhibitor also counteracted the suppression of p65 phosphorylation in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: A DPP-4 inhibitor, anagliptin, prevents the growth of IAs via its anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages.
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