Anti-inflammatory effects of nitric oxide-releasing hydrocortisone NCX 1022, in a murine model of contact dermatitis.

Article Details


Hyun E, Bolla M, Steinhoff M, Wallace JL, Soldato PD, Vergnolle N

Anti-inflammatory effects of nitric oxide-releasing hydrocortisone NCX 1022, in a murine model of contact dermatitis.

Br J Pharmacol. 2004 Nov;143(5):618-25. Epub 2004 Aug 16.

PubMed ID
15313880 [ View in PubMed

1 The concept that nitric oxide (NO) release can be beneficial in inflammatory conditions has raised more attention in the recent years, particularly with the development of nitric oxide-releasing anti-inflammatory drugs. There is considerable evidence that NO is capable of enhancing the anti-inflammatory benefits of conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. 2 Since hydrocortisone is the most widely used anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of skin inflammation, we compared the anti-inflammatory effects of hydrocortisone to an NO-releasing derivative of hydrocortisone, NCX 1022, in a murine model of irritant contact dermatitis, induced by epidermal application of benzalkonium chloride. 3 Topical pre- and post-treatment with NCX 1022 (3 nmol) in C57BL6 mice not only reduced ear oedema formation in a dose-dependent manner, but also was significantly more effective than the parent compound during the initial stages of inflammation (from 1 to 5 h). NCX 1022, but not hydrocortisone, significantly inhibited granulocyte recruitment (tissue myeloperoxidase activity). Histological samples of mouse ears treated with NCX 1022 showed significant reduction in both the number of infiltrated cells and disruption of the tissue architecture compared to hydrocortisone-treated tissues. 4 With intravital microscopy, we observed that both pre- and post-treatments with NCX 1022 were more effective than hydrocortisone in terms of inhibiting benzalkonium chloride-induced leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium, without affecting the flux of rolling leukocytes or venule diameter. 5 These results suggest that by releasing NO, NCX 1022 modulates one of the early events of skin inflammation: the recruitment of leukocytes to the site of inflammation. Overall, we have shown that NO-hydrocortisone provided faster and greater protective effects, reducing major inflammatory parameters (leukocyte adhesion and recruitment, oedema formation, tissue disruption) compared to its parental compound.

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