Danshensu, a novel indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase1 inhibitor, exerts anti-hepatic fibrosis effects via inhibition of JAK2-STAT3 signaling.Phytomedicine. 2019 Oct; 63:153055.P
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), an important intracellular rate-limiting enzyme in the development of Hepatic fibrosis (HF), and has been proposed as a hallmark of HF. Danshensu (DSS) is a major bioactive component that isolated from a edible traditional Chinese medicinal herb Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma (Danshen), while, the anti-HF mode and mechanism of action of DSS have not been fully elucidated.
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced rat HF model and TGF-β1-induced hepatic stellate cell (HSC) model were employed to assess the in vivo and in vitro anti-HF effects of DSS. HSC-T6 cells stably expressing IDO1, a constitutively active IDO1 mutant, was used to determine the role of JAK2-STAT3 signaling in the DSS's anti-HF effects.
We found that intragastric administration of DSS potently reduced fibrosis, inhibited IDO1 expression and STAT3 activity both in vitro and in vivo. Using molecular docking and molecular dynamics analysis, DSS was identified as a novel IDO1 inhibitor. Mechanistic studies indicated that DSS inhibited JAK2-STAT3 signaling, it reduced IDO1 expression, STAT3 phosphorylation and STAT3 nuclear localization. More importantly, overexpression of IDO1 diminished DSS's anti-HF effects.
Our findings provide a pharmacological justification for the clinical use of DSS in treating HF, and suggest that DSS has the potential to be developed as a modern alternative and/or complimentary agent for HF treatment and prevention.