R-268712, an orally active transforming growth factor-β type I receptor inhibitor, prevents glomerular sclerosis in a Thy1 nephritis model

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R-268712 is a novel and specific inhibitor of activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5), a transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) type I receptor. Evaluation of in vitro inhibition indicated that R-268712 is a potent and selective inhibitor of ALK5 with an IC50 of 2.5 nM, an approximately 5000-fold more selectivity for ALK5 than p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Oral administration of R-268712 at doses of 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg also inhibited the development of renal fibrosis in a dose-dependent manner in a unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model. Additionally, we evaluated the efficacy of R-268712 in a heminephrectomized anti-Thy1 glomerulonephritis model at doses of 0.3 and 1 mg/kg. R-268712 reduced proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis significantly with improvement of renal function. Collectively, these results suggested that R-268712 and other ALK5 inhibitors could suppress glomerulonephritis as well as glomerulosclerosis by an inhibitory mechanism that involves suppression of TGF-β signaling.

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