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Tardif J.-C.,Montreal Heart Institute | L'Allier P.L.,Montreal Heart Institute | Gregoire J.,Montreal Heart Institute | Ibrahim R.,Montreal Heart Institute | And 8 more authors.
Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions | Year: 2010

Background-Vascular inflammation can lead to plaque instability and acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Viruses produce potent immunomodulating proteins that regulate key inflammatory pathways. A myxoma virus- derived serpin Serp-1 reduces inflammatory cell invasion and plaque growth in vascular injury models. Our objective was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Serp-1 in patients with ACS undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Methods and Results-This double-blind pilot trial included 48 ACS patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention randomly assigned to Serp-1 at doses of 5 μg/kg (n=19) or 15 μg/kg (n=17) or to placebo (n=12). Serp-1 was given by intravenous bolus immediately before intervention and 24 and 48 hours later. Patients were assessed for safety (primary objective) and efficacy outcomes, including biomarker analysis. In-stent neointimal hyperplasia was evaluated by intravascular ultrasound at 6 months. Key safety outcomes including coagulation parameters and adverse events did not differ between Serp-1 and placebo groups. A dose-dependent reduction in troponin I levels was observed with Serp-1 at 8, 16, 24, and 54 hours (P<0.05) and in creatine kinase-MB levels at 8, 16, and 24 hours after dose (P<0.05). The composite of death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization occurred in 2 of 12 patients with placebo, 5 of 19 in the low-dose group, and none of 17 patients with the high-dose (P=0.058). Intravascular ultrasound did not detect changes in neointimal hyperplasia among groups. Conclusions-This is the first study of a viral serpin demonstrating its safety in ACS patients. The significant reduction in myocardial damage biomarkers supports further assessment of Serp-1 in ACS patients undergoing stent deployment. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.

Brahn E.,University of California at Los Angeles | Lee S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Lucas A.,University of Florida | McFadden G.,University of Florida | MaCaulay C.,Viron Therapeutics
Clinical Immunology | Year: 2014

Many viruses encode virulence factors to facilitate their own survival by modulating a host's inflammatory response. One of these factors, secreted from cells infected with myxoma virus, is the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) Serp-1. Because Serp-1 had demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in arterial injury models and viral infections, it was cloned and evaluated for therapeutic efficacy in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Clinical severity was significantly lower in the Serp-1 protocols (p < 0.0001) and blinded radiographs indicated that the Serp-1 group had significantly less erosions than the controls (p < 0.01). Delayed-type hypersensitivity was lower in the Serp-1 group but antibody titers to type II collagen were not significantly altered. Recipients had minimal histopathologic synovial changes and did not develop neutralizing antibodies to Serp-1. These results indicate that Serp-1 impedes the pathogenesis of CIA and suggests that the therapeutic potential of serine proteinase inhibitors in inflammatory joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, should be investigated further. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Chen H.,University of Florida | Zheng D.,University of Florida | Davids J.,University of Florida | Bartee M.Y.,University of Florida | And 9 more authors.
Methods in Enzymology | Year: 2011

Over the past 19 years, we have developed a novel myxoma virus-derived anti-inflammatory serine protease inhibitor, termed a serpin, as a new class of immunomodulatory therapeutic. This review will describe the initial identification of viral serpins with anti-inflammatory potential, beginning with preclinical analysis of viral pathogenesis and proceeding to cell and molecular target analyses, and successful clinical trial. The central aim of this review is to describe the development of two serpins, Serp-1 and Serp-2, as a new class of immune modulating drug, from inception to implementation. We begin with an overview of the approaches used for successful mining of the virus for potential serpin immunomodulators in viruses. We then provide a methodological overview of one inflammatory animal model used to test for serpin anti-inflammatory activity followed by methods used to identify cells in the inflammatory response system targeted by these serpins and molecular responses to serpin treatment. Finally, we provide an overview of our findings from a recent, successful clinical trial of the secreted myxomaviral serpin, Serp-1, in patients with unstable inflammatory coronary arterial disease. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Munuswamy-Ramanujam G.,University of Florida | Munuswamy-Ramanujam G.,University of Western Ontario | Dai E.,University of Florida | Dai E.,University of Western Ontario | And 9 more authors.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2010

Thrombolytic serine proteases not only initiate fibrinolysis, but also are up-regulated in vascular disease and acute inflammatory responses. Although the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is considered a main regulator of thrombolysis, PAI-1 is also associated with vascular inflammation. The role of other serpins that target thrombolytic proteases, PAI-2, PAI-3, and neuroserpin (NSP), in vascular inflammation is, however, less well defined. NSP is a mammalian serpin that, similar to PAI-1, inhibits urokinase- and tissue-type plasminogen activators (uPA and tPA, respectively) and has been most closely associated with the nervous system, with a demonstrated protective role after cerebral infarction in mouse models. However, the role of NSP in systemic arterial inflammation and plaque growth is not known. Serp-1 is a myxoma viral serpin that also inhibits tPA and uPA, as well as additionally inhibiting plasmin and factor Xa (fXa). Serp-1 has proven highly potent anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic activity. Here we assess the effects of NSP treatment on plaque growth and T-helper (Th) lymphocyte activity in a mouse aortic allograft transplant model, with comparison to Serp-1. NSP and Serp-1 both significantly reduced plaque growth and T-cell invasion. T-bet (a Th1 differentiation marker) was significantly reduced in transplanted aorta with associated reductions in Th1 and Th17, but not Th2, in splenocytes. NSP had additional Th modifying activity in non-transplanted mice. In summary, this is the first report that NSP possesses anti-inflammatory activity in systemic arteries, modifying Th cell responses and significantly reducing plaque growth in mouse aortic allografts. © Schattauer 2010.

PubMed | University of Florida, Stanford University and Viron Therapeutics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) and Takayasus disease are inflammatory vasculitic syndromes (IVS) causing sudden blindness and widespread arterial obstruction and aneurysm formation. Glucocorticoids and aspirin are mainstays of treatment, predominantly targeting T cells. Serp-1, a Myxomavirus-derived serpin, blocks macrophage and T cells in a wide range of animal models. Serp-1 also reduced markers of myocardial injury in a Phase IIa clinical trial for unstable coronary disease. In recent work, we detected improved survival and decreased arterial inflammation in a mouse Herpesvirus model of IVS. Here we examine Serp-1 treatment of human temporal artery (TA) biopsies from patients with suspected TA GCA arteritis after implant (TAI) into the aorta of immunodeficient SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice. TAI positive for arteritis (GCApos) had significantly increased inflammation and plaque when compared to negative TAI (GCAneg). Serp-1 significantly reduced intimal inflammation and CD11b+ cell infiltrates in TAI, with reduced splenocyte Th1, Th17, and Treg. Splenocytes from mice with GCApos grafts had increased gene expression for interleukin-1 beta (IL-1), IL-17, and CD25 and decreased Factor II. Serp-1 decreased IL-1 expression. In conclusion, GCApos TAI xenografts in mice provide a viable disease model and have increased intimal inflammation as expected and Serp-1 significantly reduces vascular inflammatory lesions with reduced IL-1.

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