Objectives: Adjunctive host-directed therapy is emerging as a new potential approach to improve the outcome of conventional antimicrobial treatment for tuberculosis (TB).We tested the ability of a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor (PDE4i) CC-11050, co-administered with the first-line anti-TB drug isoniazid (INH), to accelerate bacillary killing and reduce chronic inflammation in the lungs of rabbits with experimental Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection.
Methods: A rabbit model of pulmonary TB that recapitulates the pathologic manifestations seen in humans was used. Rabbits were infected with virulent Mtb by aerosol exposure and treated for eight weeks with INH with orwithout CC-11050, starting at fourweeks post infection. The effect of CC-11050 treatment on disease severity, pathology, bacillary load, T cell proliferation and global lung transcriptome profiles were analyzed.
Results: Significant improvement in bacillary clearance and reduced lung pathology and fibrosis were noted in the rabbits treated for eight weeks with INH + CC-11050, compared to those treated with INH or CC-11050 only. In addition, expression of host genes associated with tissue remodeling, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) regulation, macrophage activation and lung inflammation networks was dampened in CC-11050- treated, compared to the untreated rabbits.
Conclusions: Adjunctive CC-11050 therapy significantly improves the response of rabbits with experimental pulmonary TB to INH treatment.We propose that CC-11050 may be a promising candidate for host directed therapy of patients with pulmonary TB, reducing the duration and improving clinical outcome of antibiotic treatment.