A new study has found low toxicity and significant effectiveness of EZY-1, an antifibrosis peptide, against a mouse model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The study, published in Food Biochemistry, showed that EZY-1 alleviated IPF at lower doses than pirfenidone.

Eucheuma is a type of edible seaweed, which has expectorant, antitussive, antipyretic, and detoxification effects. EZY-1 is a 16-amino-acid peptide extracted from Eucheuma,” the authors wrote. “Building on the previous studies, we improved the acute toxic reaction and potential toxic target organs of EZY-1 in Kunming (KM) mice, identified proteins and related signal pathways that could directly bind to EZY-1 in vitro.”


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The research team induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice using bleomycin, and treated one group with EZY-1 and another with pirfenidone, finding the lung condition in both groups significantly improved, but with a significantly lower effective dose of EZY-1 than pirfenidone.

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In vivo and in vitro assays showed that EZY-1 inhibited pulmonary fibrosis in several ways, including downregulating transforming growth factor-β/Smad expression, inhibiting cell migration and inhibition, and reducing collagen-I secretion, as well as modifying the epithelial-mesenchymal transition processes.

Taken together, the authors suspect EZY-1 interferes with the transcription of genes related to fibrosis, thereby inhibiting the overall IPF disease process.

Furthermore, a dose of 5000 mg/kg EZY-1 appeared to have no significant effect on the mice in terms of mental state, body weight, food intake, or changes in gross anatomy. Given that pirfenidone has been shown to have adverse effects such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash, the authors are hopeful that EZY-1 could represent a safer treatment alternative for patients with IPF that would not significantly reduce their quality of life.

Reference

Wu J, Huang H, Tu M, et al. Acute toxicological study: EZY-1 with potent therapeutic effects of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and its mechanisms. Food Biochem. Published online September 30, 2022. doi:10.1111/jfbc.14483