Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a member of the CC subfamily of chemokines, plays a crucial role in the progression of glomerulonephritis by recruitment of monocytes. Tranilast, a clinically used anti-allergic drug, has been demonstrated to have various anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects, and recently has been reported to prevent restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. In this study, we investigated whether tranilast inhibits MCP-1 secretion in mesangial cells. Tranilast inhibited interleukin-1β-induced MCP-1 secretion and mRNA expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Luciferase assay showed that tranilast suppressed interleukin-1β-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-dependent transcription. Interleukin-1β-induced Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation was also suppressed selectively by tranilast. These results indicate that tranilast inhibits interleukin-1β-induced MCP-1 production, at least in part, by inhibiting NF-κB activity and that suppression of JNK activation might be involved in the inhibition of MCP-1 production. Tranilast may serve as a new therapeutic agent for glomerulonephritis through anti-chemokine property.
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