DRM02, a novel phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor with cutaneous anti-inflammatory activity
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Chronic inflammatory skin disorders are frequently associated with impaired skin barrier function. Selective phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibition constitutes an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. We now report the pharmacological anti-inflammatory profile of DRM02, a novel pyrazolylbenzothiazole derivative with selective in vitro inhibitory activity toward PDE4 isoforms A, B and D. DRM02 treatment of cultured primary human and mouse epidermal keratinocytes interfered with pro-inflammatory cytokine production elicited by interleukin-1α and tumor necrosis factor-α. Similarly, DRM02 inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells ex vivo and cultured THP-1 monocyte-like cells, with IC50 values of 0.6–14 µM. These anti-inflammatory properties of DRM02 were associated with dose-dependent repression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) transcriptional activity. In skin inflammation in vivo mouse models, topically applied DRM02 inhibited the acute response to phorbol ester and induced Th2-type contact hypersensitivity reactivity. Further, DRM02 also decreased cutaneous clinical changes and expression of Th17 immune pathway cytokines in a mouse model of psoriasis evoked by repeated topical imiquimod application. Thus, the overall pharmacological profiling of the PDE4 inhibitor DRM02 has revealed its potential as a topical therapy for inflammatory skin disorders and restoration of skin homeostasis.