The Th1 and Th2 T cell responses that underlie inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are likely to depend on NF-κB transcriptional activity. We explored this possibility in studies in which we determined the capacity of NF-κB decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (decoy ODNs) to treat various murine models of IBD. In initial studies, we showed that i.r. (intrarectal) or i.p. administration of decoy ODNs encapsulated in a viral envelope prevented and treated a model of acute trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid–induced (TNBS-induced) colitis, as assessed by clinical course and effect on Th1 cytokine production. In further studies, we showed that NF-κB decoy ODNs were also an effective treatment of a model of chronic TNBS-colitis, inhibiting both the production of IL-23/IL-17 and the development of fibrosis that characterizes this model. Treatment of TNBS-induced inflammation by i.r. administration of NF-κB decoy ODNs did not inhibit NF-κB in extraintestinal organs and resulted in CD4+ T cell apoptosis, suggesting that such treatment is highly focused and durable. Finally, we showed that NF-κB decoy ODNs also prevented and treated oxazolone-colitis and thus affect a Th2-mediated inflammatory process. In each case, decoy administration led to inflammation-clearing effects, suggesting a therapeutic potency applicable to human IBD.
Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Ivan J. Fuss, Jan C. Preiss, Warren Strober, Atsushi Kitani