Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinases (IRAKs), particularly IRAK1 and IRAK4, are important in transducing signal from Toll-like receptor 4. We interrogated if a selective inhibition of IRAK1 could alleviate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sepsis. In this study, we tested the impact of a novel selective IRAK1 inhibitor Jh-X-119-01 on LPS-induced sepsis in mice. Survival at day 5 was 13.3% in control group where septic mice were treated by vehicle, while the values were 37.5% (p = 0.046, vs. control) and 56.3% (p = 0.003, vs. control) for 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg Jh-X-119-01-treated mice. Jh-X-119-01 alleviated lung injury and reduced production of TNFα and IFNγ in peritoneal macrophages. Jh-X-119-01 decreased phosphorylation of NF-κB and mRNA levels of IL-6 and TNFα in LPS-treated macrophages in vitro. Jh-X-119-01 selectively inhibited IRAK1 phosphorylation comparing with a non-selective IRAK1/4 inhibitor which simultaneously inhibited phosphorylation of IRAK1 and IRAK4. Both Jh-X-119-01 and IRAK1/4 inhibitor increased survival of septic mice, but Jh-X-119-01-treated mice had higher blood CD11b cell counts than IRAK1/4 inhibitor-treated ones [24 h: (1.18 ± 0.26) × 10/ml vs. (0.79 ± 0.20) × 10/ml, p = 0.001; 48 h: (1.00 ± 0.30) × 10/ml vs. (0.67 ± 0.23) × 10/ml, p = 0.042]. IRAK1/4 inhibitor induced more apoptosis of macrophages than Jh-X-119-01 did in vitro. IRAK1/4 inhibitor decreased protein levels of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 and MCL-1 in RAW 264.7 and THP-1 cells, an effect not seen in Jh-X-119-01-treated cells. In conclusion, Jh-X-119-01 selectively inhibited activation of IRAK1 and protected mice from LPS-induced sepsis. Jh-X-119-01 showed less toxicity on macrophages comparing with a non-selective IRAK1/4 inhibitor.
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