We have shown previously that oral treatment with sodium butyrate or phenylbutyrate in an experimental model of shigellosis improves clinical outcomes and induces the expression of the antimicrobial peptide CAP-18 in the large intestinal epithelia. In a subsequent study, we found that entinostat, an aroylated phenylenediamine compound, has similar therapeutic potential against shigellosis. In this study, we aimed to evaluate entinostat as a potential candidate for host-directed therapy against cholera in an experimental model. Vibrio cholerae-infected rabbits were treated with two different dose regimens of entinostat: either 0.5 mg twice daily for 2 days or 1 mg once daily for 2 days. The effects of treatment on clinical outcomes and V. cholerae shedding (CFU count in stool) were observed. Immunohistochemical analysis was carried out to assess CAP-18 expression in ileal and jejunal mucosae. The serum zonulin level was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to evaluate gut permeability. Infection of rabbits with V. cholerae downregulated CAP-18 expression in the ileal epithelium; the expression was replenished by oral treatment with entinostat at either dose regimen. The level of zonulin, a marker of gut permeability, in serum was upregulated after infection, and this upregulation was counteracted after treatment with entinostat. Entinostat treatment also led to recovery from cholera and a decline in the V. cholerae count in stool. In conclusion, the improved clinical outcome of cholera for rabbits treated with entinostat is associated with the induction of CAP-18 and the reduction of gut epithelial permeability.
Keywords: animal models; antimicrobial peptides; cathelicidin; enteric pathogens; host-directed therapy; infectious diseases; innate immunity.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.