Scientific article
Open access

Nanobody-based pannexin1 channel inhibitors reduce inflammation in acute liver injury

Published inJournal of nanobiotechnology, vol. 21, no. 1, 371
Publication date2023-10-11
First online date2023-10-11

Background: The opening of pannexin1 channels is considered as a key event in inflammation. Pannexin1 channel-mediated release of adenosine triphosphate triggers inflammasome signaling and activation of immune cells. By doing so, pannexin1 channels play an important role in several inflammatory diseases. Although pannexin1 channel inhibition could represent a novel clinical strategy for treatment of inflammatory disorders, therapeutic pannexin1 channel targeting is impeded by the lack of specific, potent and/or in vivo-applicable inhibitors. The goal of this study is to generate nanobody-based inhibitors of pannexin1 channels.

Results: Pannexin1-targeting nanobodies were developed as potential new pannexin1 channel inhibitors. We identified 3 cross-reactive nanobodies that showed affinity for both murine and human pannexin1 proteins. Flow cytometry experiments revealed binding capacities in the nanomolar range. Moreover, the pannexin1-targeting nanobodies were found to block pannexin1 channel-mediated release of adenosine triphosphate. The pannexin1-targeting nanobodies were also demonstrated to display anti-inflammatory effects in vitro through reduction of interleukin 1 beta amounts. This anti-inflammatory outcome was reproduced in vivo using a human-relevant mouse model of acute liver disease relying on acetaminophen overdosing. More specifically, the pannexin1-targeting nanobodies lowered serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and diminished liver damage. These effects were linked with alteration of the expression of several NLRP3 inflammasome components.

Conclusions: This study introduced for the first time specific, potent and in vivo-applicable nanobody-based inhibitors of pannexin1 channels. As demonstrated for the case of liver disease, the pannexin1-targeting nanobodies hold great promise as anti-inflammatory agents, yet this should be further tested for extrahepatic inflammatory disorders. Moreover, the pannexin1-targeting nanobodies represent novel tools for fundamental research regarding the role of pannexin1 channels in pathological and physiological processes.

  • Acute liver disease
  • Inflammation
  • Nanobody
  • Pannexin1
  • Therapy
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Inflammasomes
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Liver Diseases
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Single-Domain Antibodies / therapeutic use
Citation (ISO format)
VAN CAMPENHOUT, Raf et al. Nanobody-based pannexin1 channel inhibitors reduce inflammation in acute liver injury. In: Journal of nanobiotechnology, 2023, vol. 21, n° 1, p. 371. doi: 10.1186/s12951-023-02137-1
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1477-3155

Technical informations

Creation11/05/2023 5:36:20 PM
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