Introduction: In vitro evidence suggests that pirfenidone and nintedanib, approved agents for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. We aimed to investigate such effects in vivo in IPF patients. Methods: Systemic circulating markers of oxidative stress [nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2), thiobarbituric acid- reactive substances (TBARS), homocysteine (Hcy), cysteine (Cys), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and ADMA/Arginine ratio, glutathione (GSH), plasma protein –SH (PSH), and taurine (Tau)] and inflammation [Kynurenine (Kyn), Tryptophan (Trp) and Kyn/Trp ratio] were measured at baseline and after 24-week treatment in 18 IPF patients (10 treated with pirfenidone and 8 with nintedanib) and in 18 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Results: Compared to controls, IPF patients had significantly lower concentrations of reduced blood GSH (457 ± 73 µmol/L vs 880 ± 212 µmol/L, p < 0.001) and plasma PSH (4.24 ± 0.95 µmol/g prot vs 5.28 ± 1.35 µmol/g prot, p = 0.012). Pirfenidone treatment significantly decreased the Kyn/Trp ratio (0.030 ± 0.011 baseline vs 0.025 ± 0.010 post-treatment, p = 0.048) whilst nintedanib treatment significantly increased blood GSH (486 ± 70 μmol/L vs 723 ± 194 μmol/L, p = 0.006) and reduced ADMA concentrations (0.501 ± 0.094 vs. 0.468 ± 0.071 μmol/L, p = 0.024). Conclusion: pirfenidone and nintedanib exert beneficial effects on specific markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in IPF patients.
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Oxidative stress