Background: P28GST, a 28Kd glutathione S-transferase enzymatic protein derived from a schistosome helminth prevents experimental colitis when administered subcutaneously in the presence of adjuvant by decreasing pro-inflammatory Th1/Th17 response. Given the antioxidant properties of P28GST, we evaluated its anti-inflammatory potential when administered locally after colitis induction in the absence of adjuvant.
Methods: Colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by rectal administration of TNBS, followed by two intraperitoneal injections of P28GST at day 1 and day 2. Mice were sacrificed 48h after TNBS administration and evaluated for macroscopic and histological scores, myeloperoxidase (MPO) quantification and cytokine messenger RNA expression in the colonic tissues.
Results: Both clinical and histological scores significantly decreased in mice treated with P28GST at 5 or 50μg/kg when compared to vehicle- treated mice. A significant reduction of MPO was detected in colonic tissues from P28GST-treated mice, similarly to mice treated with methylprednisolone as the reference treatment. Pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, IL-1β, and IL-6, mRNA as well as serum levels were down-regulated in mice colonic tissues treated with P28GST at 5 or 50μg/kg. In addition, a significant decrease of mRNA expression levels of T-bet, and ROR-γ, respective markers of Th1 and Th17 cells was observed. Whereas no significant effect was detected on Gata3 mRNA, a marker of Th2 cells, the Arg/iNOS mRNA levels significantly increased in P28GST-treated mice, suggesting the induction of M2 macrophages.
Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that P28GST injected locally after colitis induction induces a potent decrease of colitis inflammation in mice, associated to downregulation of Th1/Th17 response, and induction of anti-inflammatory alternatively activated macrophages.