Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): a different mode of action than what was known previously

 | Post date: 2022/05/24 | 
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes and are ubiquitously used for their anti-inflammatory properties. However, COX inhibition alone fails to explain numerous clinical outcomes of NSAID usage. Screening commonly used NSAIDs in primary human and murine myeloid cells demonstrated that NSAIDs could be differentiated by their ability to induce growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), independent of COX specificity. Using genetic and pharmacologic approaches, NSAID-mediated GDF15 induction was dependent on the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) in myeloid cells. Sensing by Cysteine 151 of the NRF2 chaperone, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) was required for NSAID activation of NRF2 and subsequent anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro and in vivo. Myeloid-specific deletion of NRF2 abolished NSAID-mediated tissue protection in murine models of gout and endotoxemia. This highlights a noncanonical NRF2-dependent mechanism of action for the anti-inflammatory activity of a subset of commonly used NSAIDs.
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