Histone deacetylase inhibitors: new drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases?

Drug Discov Today. 2005 Feb 1;10(3):197-204. doi: 10.1016/S1359-6446(04)03309-4.


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors induce cell cycle arrest and differentiation in cancer cells and have been in Phase I-II clinical trials for the treatment of various solid or haematological malignancies. In recent years, HDAC inhibitors have emerged as potent contenders for anti-inflammatory drugs, offering new lines of therapeutic intervention for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus. The molecular mode of action of HDAC inhibitors is still controversial but seems to rely on reduced inflammatory mediator production, such as nitric oxide or cytokines, which implies inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. These anti-inflammatory effects will hopefully lead us to appreciate the complex anti-tumour effects of HDAC inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Bone Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bone Resorption / drug therapy
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Nitric Oxide