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Ankylosing enthesopathy (ANKENT) is an animal model of human ankylosing spondylitis. ANKENT is an inflammatory disease affecting the ankle and tarsal joints of the hind limbs in susceptible mouse strains. In the disease, the participation of intestinal microbiota components was suggested. Therefore, we attempted to increase the incidence of ANKENT by systemic administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is a component of bacterial cellular walls and stimulates inflammatory processes.
ANKENT occurrence, serum cytokine profiles, spleen cellular composition and in vitro cytokine response to LPS were analysed in LPS-treated and control LPS-untreated B10.BR male mice.
Contrary to expectations, LPS treatment decreased the incidence of ANKENT in LPS-treated group compared to control LPS-untreated group. Flow cytometry analysis of splenocytes showed an increased percentage of macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils and a decreased percentage of B cells, T cells and T helper cells in LPS-treated males following LPS administration. In addition, LPS-treated males had significantly elevated IL-6 and IL-10 serum levels. At 20–22weeks after the final LPS application, splenocytes from LPS-treated mice were more susceptible to in vitro LPS stimulation than those of the controls and produced significantly higher levels of TNFα and IL-6.
Repeated systemic stimulation with microbial component lipopolysaccharide in early adulthood significantly reduced the incidence of ANKENT in B10.BR mice and this finding can support the “hygiene hypothesis”. In LPS-treated mice, the innate immunity parameters and the level of anti-inflammatory IL-10 cytokine were significantly increased. Nevertheless, the immunological mechanism of the LPS protective effect remains unclear.