The P2X7 receptor antagonist JNJ-47965567 administered thrice weekly from disease onset does not alter progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in SOD1G93A mice
The ATP-gated P2X7 ion channel has emerging roles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) progression. Pharmacological blockade of P2X7 with Brilliant Blue G can ameliorate disease in SOD1G93A mice, but recent data suggests that this antagonist displays poor penetration of the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, the current study aimed to determine whether the CNS-penetrant P2X7 antagonist, JNJ-47965567, could ameliorate ALS progression in SOD1G93A mice. A flow cytometric assay revealed that JNJ-47965567 impaired ATP-induced cation dye uptake in a concentration-dependent manner in murine J774 macrophages. Female and male SOD1G93A mice were injected intraperitoneally with JNJ-47965567 (30 mg/kg) or 2-(hydroxypropyl)-beta-cyclodextrin (vehicle control) three times a week from disease onset until end stage, when tissues were collected and studied. JNJ-47965567 did not impact weight loss, clinical score, motor (rotarod) coordination or survival compared to control mice. NanoString analysis revealed altered spinal cord gene expression in JNJ-47965567 mice compared to control mice, but such differences were not confirmed by quantitative PCR. Flow cytometric analyses revealed no differences between treatments in the frequencies or activation status of T cell or dendritic cell subsets in lymphoid tissues or in the concentrations of serum cytokines. Notably, serum IL-27, IFNβ and IL-10 were present in relatively high concentrations compared to other cytokines in both groups. In conclusion, JNJ-47965567 administered thrice weekly from disease onset did not alter disease progression or molecular and cellular parameters in SOD1G93A mice.