This seems like good stuff. Looks like Phase III results are not out yet.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012 Apr;341(1):274-84. Epub 2012 Jan 20.Fumarates promote cytoprotection of central nervous system cells against oxidative stress via the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 pathway.
Scannevin RH, Chollate S, Jung MY, Shackett M, Patel H, Bista P, Zeng W, Ryan S, Yamamoto M, Lukashev M, Rhodes KJ.
Biogen Idec, 14 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxidative stress is central to the pathology of several neurodegenerative diseases, including multiple sclerosis, and therapeutics designed to enhance antioxidant potential could have clinical value.The objective of this study was to characterize the potential direct neuroprotective effects of dimethyl fumarate (DMF) and its primary metabolite monomethyl fumarate (MMF) on cellular resistance to oxidative damage in primary cultures of central nervous system (CNS) cells and further explore the dependence and function of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) pathway in this process.
Treatment of animals or primary cultures of CNS cells with DMF or MMF resulted in increased nuclear levels of active Nrf2, with subsequent up-regulation of canonical antioxidant target genes. DMF-dependent up-regulation of antioxidant genes in vivo was lost in mice lacking Nrf2 [Nrf2(-/-)]. DMF or MMF treatment increased cellular redox potential, glutathione, ATP levels, and mitochondrial membrane potential in a concentration-dependent manner.
Treating astrocytes or neurons with DMF or MMF also significantly improved cell viability after toxic oxidative challenge in a concentration-dependent manner. This effect on viability was lost in cells that had eliminated or reduced Nrf2.
These data suggest that DMF and MMF are cytoprotective for neurons and astrocytes against oxidative stress-induced cellular injury and loss, potentially via up-regulation of an Nrf2-dependent antioxidant response. These data also suggest DMF and MMF may function through improving mitochondrial function.The clinical utility of DMF in multiple sclerosis is being explored through phase III trials with BG-12, which is an oral therapeutic containing DMF as the active ingredient.
PMID: 22267202 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
ASN Neuro. 2011 Apr 7;3(2). pii: e00055. doi: 10.1042/AN20100033.
The anti-inflammatory effects of dimethyl fumarate in astrocytes involve glutathione and haem oxygenase-1.
Lin SX, Lisi L, Dello Russo C, Polak PE, Sharp A, Weinberg G, Kalinin S, Feinstein DL.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA.
DMF (dimethyl fumarate) exerts anti-inflammatory and pro-metabolic effects in a variety of cell types, and a formulation (BG-12) is being evaluated for monotherapy in multiple sclerosis patients. DMF modifies glutathione (GSH) levels that can induce expression of the anti-inflammatory protein HO-1 (haem oxygenase-1). In primary astrocytes and C6 glioma cells, BG-12 dose-dependently suppressed nitrite production induced by either LI [LPS (lipopolysaccharide) at 1 μg/ml plus IFNγ (interferon γ) at 20 units/ml] or a mixture of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with greater efficacy in C6 cells. BG-12 reduced NOS2 (nitric oxide synthase 2) mRNA levels and activation of a NOS2 promoter, reduced nuclear levels of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) p65 subunit and attenuated loss of IκBα (inhibitory κBα) in both cell types, although with greater effects in astrocytes. In astrocytes, LI decreased mRNA levels for GSHr (GSH reductase) and GCL (c-glutamylcysteine synthetase), and slightly suppressed GSHs (GSH synthetase) mRNAs. Co-treatment with BG-12 prevented those decreased and increased levels above control values. In contrast, LI reduced GSHp (GSH peroxidase) and GCL in C6 cells, and BG-12 had no effect on those levels. BG-12 increased nuclear levels of Nrf2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 subunit-related factor 2), an inducer of GSH-related enzymes, in astrocytes but not C6 cells. In astrocytes, GSH was decreased by BG-12 at 2 h and increased at 24 h. Prior depletion of GSH using buthionine-sulfoximine increased the ability of BG-12 to reduce nitrites. In astrocytes, BG-12 increased HO-1 mRNA levels and effects on nitrite levels were blocked by an HO-1 inhibitor.
These results demonstrate that BG-12 suppresses inflammatory activation in astrocytes and C6 glioma cells, but with distinct mechanisms, different dependence on GSH and different effects on transcription factor activation.
PMID: 21382015 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3072764