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Tofacitinib Ameliorates Lupus Through Suppression of T Cell Activation Mediated by TGF-Beta Type I Receptor

Autoreactive T cells play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). TGF-β type I receptor (TGFβRI) is pivotal in determining T cell activation. Here, we showed that TGFβRI expression in naïve CD4+ T cells was decreased in SLE patients, especially in those with high disease activity. Moreover, IL-6 was found to downregulate TGFβRI expression through JAK/STAT3 pathway in SLE patients. In vitro, the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib inhibited SLE T cell activating by upregulating TGFβRI expression in a dose-dependent manner. In MRL/lpr mice, tofacitinib treatment ameliorated the clinical indicators and lupus nephritis, as evidenced by reduced plasma anti-dsDNA antibody levels, decreased proteinuria, and lower renal histopathological score. Consistently, tofacitinib enhanced TGFβRI expression and inhibited T cell activation in vivo. TGFβRI inhibitor SB431542 reversed the effects of tofacitinib on T cell activation. Thus, our results have indicated that tofacitinib can suppress T cell activation by upregulating TGFβRI expression, which provides a possible molecular mechanism underlying clinical efficacy of tofacitinib in treating SLE patients.

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S5001 Tofacitinib (CP-690550) Citrate Tofacitinib citrate (CP-690550, Tasocitinib) is a novel inhibitor of JAK with IC50 of 1 nM, 20 nM and 112 nM against JAK3, JAK2, and JAK1, respectively. Tofacitinib citrate has anti-infection activity. (177) (4)

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