Release of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist by combining a leukocyte adsorption carrier with ulinastatin
Both granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) and ulinastatin, a serine protease inhibitor, are reported to be effective in patients with ulcerative colitis; however, combination therapy with GMA and ulinastatin has not been attempted. Investigating the effect of ulinastatin on GMA is required for combination therapy since the inhibition of serine protease suppresses the reaction of GMA. To clarify the effects of ulinastatin on GMA, we investigated whether granulocyte adsorption to cellulose acetate beads (carriers for GMA) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) release were inhibited by ulinastatin. Peripheral blood containing ulinastatin, a different serine protease inhibitor (gabexate mesilate), or signal-transduction inhibitors was incubated with cellulose acetate beads in vitro, and the ratios of adsorbed granulocytes and IL-1ra release were measured. Granulocyte adsorption and IL-1ra release were significantly suppressed with increasing gabexate mesilate concentrations; however, the adsorption was not significantly inhibited by ulinastatin. Furthermore, IL-1ra release was augmented by the addition of a high dose of ulinastatin or PD98059 as compared to a low dose. The activation levels of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase may regulate IL-1ra release induced by the carrier, because both ulinastatin and PD98059 inhibit extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase. High concentrations of ulinastatin increased IL-1ra release without inhibiting granulocyte adsorption to cellulose acetate beads. This result warrants clinical trials of a combination of ulinastatin and GMA for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
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