Antifibrotic effects of the dual CCR2/CCR5 antagonist cenicriviroc in animal models of liver and kidney fibrosis

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© 2016 Lefebvre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background & Aims: Interactions between C-C chemokine receptor types 2 (CCR2) and 5 (CCR5) and their ligands, including CCL2 and CCL5, mediate fibrogenesis by promoting monocyte/macrophage recruitment and tissue infiltration, as well as hepatic stellate cell activation. Cenicriviroc (CVC) is an oral, dual CCR2/CCR5 antagonist with nanomolar potency against both receptors. CVC's anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects were evaluated in a range of preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. Methods: Monocyte/macrophage recruitment was assessed in vivo in a mouse model of thioglycollate-induced peritonitis. CCL2-induced chemotaxis was evaluated ex vivo on mouse monocytes. CVC's antifibrotic effects were evaluated in a thioacetamide-induced rat model of liver fibrosis and mouse models of diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and renal fibrosis. Study assessments included body and liver/kidney weight, liver function test, liver/kidney morphology and collagen deposition, fibrogenic gene and protein expression, and pharmacokinetic analyses. Results: CVC significantly reduced monocyte/macrophage recruitment in vivo at doses ≥20 mg/kg/day (p < 0.05). At these doses, CVC showed antifibrotic effects, with significant reductions in collagen deposition (p < 0.05), and collagen type 1 protein and mRNA expression across the three animal models of fibrosis. In the NASH model, CVC significantly reduced the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease activity score (p < 0.05 vs. controls). CVC treatment had no notable effect on body or liver/kidney weight. Conclusions: CVC displayed potent anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic activity in a range of animal fibrosis models, supporting human testing for fibrotic diseases. Further experimental studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms of CVC's antifibrotic effects. A Phase 2b study in adults with NASH and liver fibrosis is fully enrolled (CENTAUR Study 652-2-203; NCT02217475).




Lefebvre, E., Moyle, G., Reshef, R., Richman, L. P., Thompson, M., Hong, F., … Friedman, S. L. (2016). Antifibrotic effects of the dual CCR2/CCR5 antagonist cenicriviroc in animal models of liver and kidney fibrosis. PLoS ONE, 11(6).

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