Progress does not just come in giant leaps: adapting techniques for the study of inflammation to novel applications

Inflamm Res. 2017 Jan;66(1):1-12. doi: 10.1007/s00011-016-0988-0. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Introduction: Discussion of the relevance of suitable experimental models for the effective translation of drug effects to clinical inflammatory diseases has a long history. Much emphasis is placed these days on genetically transformed mice, which may have developmental drawbacks. But are established models redundant?

Findings: Drawn from personal experience, examples are provided of the success of tinkering with technology in the context of inflammation. These include the use of specific dietary deficiency conditions, the development of new applications for established drugs and the introduction of a variety of readouts to assess outcome in studies on established disease models. Such approaches have been used to demonstrate inflammation-modulating effects of prostaglandin E, in the development of ebselen, for the introduction of immunomodulatory macrolide drugs and in new approaches to the therapy of multiple sclerosis.

Conclusion: Fine tuning of experimental approaches and evaluation technologies can often still provide innovative, clinically relevant insights into the potential beneficial effects of drugs and pharmacological agents.

Keywords: Azithromycin; Drug effects; EAE; Ebselen; Models of inflammation; Prostaglandin E.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Awards and Prizes*
  • Azoles / therapeutic use
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation*
  • Isoindoles
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Organoselenium Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Prostaglandins E, Synthetic / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Selenium / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Azoles
  • Fatty Acids
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Isoindoles
  • Organoselenium Compounds
  • Prostaglandins E, Synthetic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • ebselen
  • Selenium