Cenerimod, a selective S1P1 receptor modulator, improves organ-specific disease outcomes in animal models of Sjögren's syndrome

Estelle Gerossier, Saba Nayar, Sylvie Froidevaux, Charlotte G Smith, Celine Runser, Valentina Iannizzotto, Enrico Vezzali, Gabin Pierlot, Ulrich Mentzel, Mark J Murphy, Marianne M Martinic, Francesca Barone

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Background: Sjögren’s syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by immune cells predominantly infiltrating the exocrine glands and frequently forming ectopic lymphoid structures. These structures drive a local functional immune response culminating in autoantibody production and tissue damage, associated with severe dryness of mucosal surfaces and salivary gland hypofunction. Cenerimod, a potent, selective and orally active sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 modulator, inhibits the egress of lymphocytes into the circulation. Based on the mechanism of action of cenerimod, its efficacy was evaluated in two mouse models of Sjögren’s syndrome.

Methods: Cenerimod was administered in two established models of Sjögren’s syndrome; firstly, in an inducible acute viral sialadenitis model in C57BL/6 mice, and, secondly, in the spontaneous chronic sialadenitis MRL/lpr mouse model. The effects of cenerimod treatment were then evaluated by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, histopathology and immunoassays. Comparisons between groups were made using a Mann-Whitney test.

Results: In the viral sialadenitis model, cenerimod treatment reduced salivary gland immune infiltrates, leading to the disaggregation of ectopic lymphoid structures, reduced salivary gland inflammation and preserved organ function. In the MRL/lpr mouse model, cenerimod treatment decreased salivary gland inflammation and reduced T cells and proliferating plasma cells within salivary gland ectopic lymphoid structures, resulting in diminished disease-relevant autoantibodies within the salivary glands.

Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that cenerimod can reduce the overall autoimmune response and improve clinical parameters in the salivary glands in models of Sjögren’s syndrome and consequently may reduce histological and clinical parameters associated with the disease in patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number289
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research funded by Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


  • Animal models
  • Cenerimod
  • Immunomodulation
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor type 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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