Gressner O.A. et al (2009). Identification of paraxanthine as the most potent caffeine-derived inhibitor of connective tissue growth factor expression in parenchymal cells. Liver International, DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2009.01987.x

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Liver International, DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2009.01987.x

Identification of paraxanthine as the most potent caffeine-derived inhibitor of connective tissue growth factor expression in parenchymal cells.

Gressner O.A. et al (2009).

Background: Recently, we identified hepatocytes as the major cellular source of profibrogenic connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) in the liver. Based on reports of a hepatoprotective effect of coffee consumption, we were the first to provide evidence that caffeine suppresses transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta dependent and -independent CTGF expression in hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting this xanthine-alkaloid as a potential therapeutic agent.
Aim: This study aims at comparing the inhibitory capacities of caffeine and its three demethylated derivates paraxanthine, theophylline and theobromine on CTGF expression in hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (HSC).
Results: Our data suggest paraxanthine as the most important pharmacological repressor of hepatocellular CTGF expression among the caffeine-derived metabolic methylxanthines with an inhibitory dosage (ID)50 of 1.15 mM, i.e. 3.84-fold lower than what is observed for caffeine. In addition, paraxanthine displayed the least cell toxicity as proven by the water-soluble tetrazolium-1 cell vitality assay. However, caffeine or any of the metabolites did not inhibit CTGF expression in HSC. At the toxicological threshold concentration of 1 mM for paraxanthine, we observed an inhibition of hepatocellular CTGF synthesis by 44%, which was strongly reverted in the presence of the specific competitive cyclic adenosine monophosphate inhibitor Rp-adenosine 3′,5-cyclic monophosphorothioate triethylammonium salt. Furthermore, CTGF protein expression induced by various concentrations of TGF-beta (0.13-1 ng/ml) is still reduced by, on average, 27%/45% in the presence of paraxanthine (1.25 mM/2.5 mM).
Conclusion: Our data provide an evidence-based suggestion of the caffeine-derived primary metabolite paraxanthine as a potentially powerful antifibrotic drug by its inhibitory effect on (hepatocellular) CTGF synthesis.

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