Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCLA

UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Homotaurine, a safe blood-brain barrier permeable GABAA-R-specific agonist, ameliorates disease in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.

Abstract

There is a need for treatments that can safely promote regulatory lymphocyte responses. T cells express GABA receptors (GABAA-Rs) and GABA administration can inhibit Th1-mediated processes such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis in mouse models. Whether GABAA-R agonists can also inhibit Th17-driven processes such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis (MS), is an open question. GABA does not pass through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) making it ill-suited to inhibit the spreading of autoreactivity within the CNS. Homotaurine is a BBB-permeable amino acid that antagonizes amyloid fibril formation and was found to be safe but ineffective in long-term Alzheimer's disease clinical trials. Homotaurine also acts as GABAA-R agonist with better pharmacokinetics than that of GABA. Working with both monophasic and relapsing-remitting mouse models of EAE, we show that oral administration of homotaurine can (1) enhance CD8+CD122+PD-1+ and CD4+Foxp3+ Treg, but not Breg, responses, (2) inhibit autoreactive Th17 and Th1 responses, and (3) effectively ameliorate ongoing disease. These observations demonstrate the potential of BBB-permeable GABAA-R agonists as a new class of treatment to enhance CD8+ and CD4+ Treg responses and limit Th17 and Th1-medaited inflammation in the CNS.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View