The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology : official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology

Relaxant and anti-inflammatory effect of two thalidomide analogs as PDE-4 inhibitors in pregnant rat uterus.

PMID 28706457


The aim of this study was to evaluate the relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects of two thalidomide analogs as phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitors in pregnant rat uterus. Uteri from Wistar female rats were isolated at 19 day of pregnancy. Uterine samples were used in functional studies to evaluate the inhibitory effects of the thalidomide analogs, methyl 3-(4-nitrophthalimido)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-propanoate (4NO2PDPMe) and methyl 3-(4-aminophthalimido)-3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-propanoate (4APDPMe), on prostaglandin-F2α (PGF2α)-induced phasic, K(+)-induced tonic, and Ca(2+)-induced contractions. Accumulation of cAMP was quantified in uterine homogenates by ELISA. Anti-inflammatory effect was assessed by using ELISA for determination of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin (IL)-1β, and anti-inflammatory IL-10, from uterine explants stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Nifedipine, forskolin and rolipram were used as positive controls where required. Both thalidomide analogs induced a significant inhibition of the uterine contractions induced by the pharmaco- and electro-mechanic stimuli. Nifedipine and forskolin were more potent than the analogs to inhibit the uterine contractility, but these were more potent than rolipram, and 4APDPMe was equieffective to nifedipine. Thalidomide analogs increased uterine cAMP-levels in a concentration-dependent manner. The LPS-induced TNFα and IL-1β uterine secretion was diminished in a concentration-dependent fashion by both analogs, whereas IL-10 secretion was increased significantly. The thalidomide analogs induced utero-relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects, which were associated with the increased cAMP levels as PDE-4 inhibitors in the pregnant rat uterus. Such properties place these thalidomide analogs as potentially safe and effective tocolytic agents in a field that urgently needs improved pharmacological treatments, as in cases of preterm labor.