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Arthritis Res Ther. 2012; 14(3): R142.
Published online Jun 12, 2012. doi:  10.1186/ar3875
PMCID: PMC3446525
Investigation of the role of endosomal Toll-like receptors in murine collagen-induced arthritis reveals a potential role for TLR7 in disease maintenance
Saba Alzabin,1 Philip Kong,1 Mino Medghalchi,1 Andrew Palfreeman,1 Richard Williams,1 and Sandra Sacrecorresponding author2
1Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, London, W6 8LH, UK
2Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Trafford Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9RY, UK
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Saba Alzabin: saba.alzabin/at/kennedy.ox.ac.uk; Philip Kong: philkong99/at/gmail.com; Mino Medghalchi: mino.medghalchi/at/kennedy.ox.ac.uk; Andrew Palfreeman: andrew.palfreeman/at/kennedy.ox.ac.uk; Richard Williams: richard.williams/at/kennedy.ox.ac.uk; Sandra Sacre: s.sacre/at/bsms.ac.uk
Received February 6, 2012; Revised May 23, 2012; Accepted June 12, 2012.
Abstract
Introduction
Endosomal toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently emerged as potential contributors to the inflammation observed in human and rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to evaluate the role of endosomal TLRs and in particular TLR7 in the murine collagen induced arthritis (CIA) model.
Methods
CIA was induced by injection of collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. To investigate the effect of endosomal TLRs in the CIA model, mianserin was administered daily from the day of disease onset. The specific role of TLR7 was examined by inducing CIA in TLR7-deficient mice. Disease progression was assessed by measuring clinical score, paw swelling, serum anti-collagen antibodies histological parameters, cytokine production and the percentage of T regulatory (Treg) cells.
Results
Therapeutic administration of mianserin to arthritic animals demonstrated a highly protective effect on paw swelling and joint destruction. TLR7-/- mice developed a mild arthritis, where the clinical score and paw swelling were significantly compromised in comparison to the control group. The amelioration of arthritis by mianserin and TLR7 deficiency both corresponded with a reduction in IL-17 responses, histological and clinical scores, and paw swelling.
Conclusions
These data highlight the potential role for endosomal TLRs in the maintenance of inflammation in RA and support the concept of a role for TLR7 in experimental arthritis models. This study also illustrates the potential benefit that may be afforded by therapeutically inhibiting the endosomal TLRs in RA.
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