PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (902132)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Arthroscopic Lavage and Debridement for Osteoarthritis of the Knee 
Executive Summary
Objective
The purpose of this review was to determine the effectiveness and adverse effects of arthroscopic lavage and debridement, with or without lavage, in the treatment of symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, and to conduct an economic analysis if evidence for effectiveness can be established.
Questions Asked
Does arthroscopic lavage improve motor function and pain associated with OA of the knee?
Does arthroscopic debridement improve motor function and pain associated with OA of the knee?
If evidence for effectiveness can be established, what is the duration of effect?
What are the adverse effects of these procedures?
What are the economic considerations if evidence for effectiveness can be established?
Clinical Need
Osteoarthritis, the most common rheumatologic musculoskeletal disorder, affects about 10% of the Canadian adult population. Although the natural history of OA is not known, it is a degenerative condition that affects the bone cartilage in the joint. It can be diagnosed at earlier ages, particularly within the sports injuries population, though the prevalence of non-injury-related OA increases with increasing age and varies with gender, with women being twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with this condition. Thus, with an aging population, the impact of OA on the health care system is expected to be considerable.
Treatments for OA of the knee include conservative or nonpharmacological therapy, like physiotherapy, weight management and exercise; and more generally, intra-articular injections, arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement surgery. Whereas knee replacement surgery is considered an end-of-line intervention, the less invasive surgical procedures of lavage or debridement may be recommended for earlier and more severe disease. Both arthroscopic lavage and debridement are generally indicated in patients with knee joint pain, with or without mechanical problems, that are refractory to medical therapy. The clinical utility of these procedures is unclear, hence, the assessment of their effectiveness in this review.
Lavage and Debridement
Arthroscopic lavage involves the visually guided introduction of saline solution into the knee joint and removal of fluid, with the intent of extracting any excess fluids and loose bodies that may be in the knee joint. Debridement, in comparison, may include the introduction of saline into the joint, in addition to the smoothening of bone surface without any further intervention (less invasive forms of debridement), or the addition of more invasive procedures such as abrasion, partial or full meniscectomy, synovectomy, or osteotomy (referred to as debridement in combination with meniscectomy or other procedures). The focus of this health technology assessment is on the effectiveness of lavage, and debridement (with or without meniscal tear resection).
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat followed its standard procedures and searched these electronic databases: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and The International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment.
The keywords searched were: arthroscopy, debridement, lavage, wound irrigation, or curettage; arthritis, rheumatoid, osteoarthritis; osteoarthritis, knee; knee or knee joint.
Time frame: Only 2 previous health technology assessments were identified, one of which was an update of the other, and included 3 of 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from the first report. Therefore, the search period for inclusion of studies in this assessment was January 1, 1995 to April 24, 2005.
Excluded were: case reports, comments, editorials, and letters. Identified were 335 references, including previously published health technology assessments, and 5 articles located through a manual search of references from published articles and health technology assessments. These were examined against the criteria, as described below, which resulted in the inclusion of 1 health technology assessment and its corresponding update, and 4 articles (2 RCTs and 2 level 4 studies) for arthroscopic lavage and 8 papers (2 RCTs and 6 level 4 studies) for arthroscopic debridement.
Inclusion Criteria
English-language articles from PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Systematic Reviews, and health technology assessments from January 1, 1995 onward
Studies on OA of the knee with a focus on the outcomes of motor function and pain
Studies of arthroscopic procedures only
Studies in which meniscal tear resection/meniscectomy (partial or full) has been conducted in conjunction with lavage or debridement.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies that focus on inflammatory OA, joint tuberculosis, septic joints, psoriatic joints (e.g., psoriatic knee joint synovitis), synovitis, chondropathy of the knee and gonarthrosis (which includes varotic gonarthrosis)
Studies that focus on rheumatoid arthritis
Studies that focus on meniscal tears from an acute injury (e.g., sports injury)
Studies that are based on lavage or debridement for microfracture of the knee
Studies in which other surgical procedures (e.g., high tibial osteotomy, synovectomy, have been conducted in addition to lavage/debridement)
Studies based on malalignment of the knee (e.g., varus/valgus arthritic conditions).
Studies that compare lavage to lavage plus drug therapy
Studies on procedures that are not arthroscopic (i.e., visually guided) (e.g., nonarthroscopic lavage)
Studies of OA in children.
Intervention
Arthroscopic lavage or debridement, with or without meniscectomy, for the treatment of motor function symptoms and pain associated with OA of the knee.
Comparators
Studies in which there was a comparison group of either diseased or healthy subjects or one in which subjects were their own control were included. Comparisons to other treatments included placebo (or sham) arthroscopy. Sham arthroscopy involved making small incisions and manipulating the knee, without the insertion of instruments.
Summary of Findings
In early OA of the knee with pain refractory to medical treatment, there is level 1b evidence that:
Arthroscopic lavage gives rise to a statistically significant, but not clinically meaningful effect in improving pain (WOMAC pain and VAS pain) up to 12 months following surgery. The effect on joint function (WOMAC function) and the primary outcome (WOMAC aggregate) was neither statistically nor clinically significant.
In moderate or severe OA of the knee with pain refractory to medical treatment, there is:
Level 1b evidence that the effect on pain and function of arthroscopic lavage (10 L saline) and debridement (with 10 L saline lavage) is not statistically significant up to 24 months following surgery.
Level 2 evidence that arthroscopic debridement (with 3 L saline lavage) is effective in the control of pain in severe OA of the medial femoral condyle for up to 5 years.
For debridement in combination with meniscectomy, there is level 4 evidence that the procedure, as appropriate, might be effective in earlier stages, unicompartmental disease, shorter symptom duration, sudden onset of mechanical symptoms, and preoperative full range of motion. However, as these findings are derived from very poor quality evidence, the identification of subsets of patients that may benefit from this procedure requires further testing.
In patients with pain due to a meniscal tear, of the medial compartment in particular, repair of the meniscus results in better pain control at 2 years following surgery than if the pain is attributable to other causes. There is insufficient evidence to comment on the effectiveness of lateral meniscus repair on pain control.
Conclusions
Arthroscopic debridement of the knee has thus far only been found to be effective for medial compartmental OA. All other indications should be reviewed with a view to reducing arthroscopic debridement as an effective therapy.
Arthroscopic lavage of the knee is not indicated for any stage of OA.
There is very poor quality evidence on the effectiveness of debridement with partial meniscectomy in the case of meniscal tears in OA of the knee.
PMCID: PMC3382413  PMID: 23074463
2.  Comparison of ultrasonography with Doppler and MRI for assessment of disease activity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a pilot study 
Background
In juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the trend towards early therapeutic intervention and the development of new highly effective treatments have increased the need for sensitive and specific imaging. Numerous studies have demonstrated the important role of MRI and US in adult rheumatology. However, investigations of imaging in JIA are rare, and no previous study has been comparing MRI with Doppler ultrasonography (US) for assessment of arthritis. The aim of the present study was to compare the two imaging methods regarding their usefulness for evaluating disease activity in JIA, and to compare the results with those obtained in healthy controls.
Methods
In 10 JIA patients (median age 14 years, range 11–18), 11 joints (six wrists, three knees, two ankles) with arthritis were assessed by color Doppler US and MRI. The same imaging modalities were used to evaluate eight joints (three wrists, three knees, two ankles) in six healthy age- and sex-matched controls. The US examinations of both the patients and controls were compared with the MRI findings.
Results
In 10 JIA patients, US detected synovial hypertrophy in 22 areas of 11 joints, 86% of which had synovial hyperemia, and MRI revealed synovitis in 36 areas of the same 11 joints. Erosions were identified by US in two areas of two joints and by MRI in six areas of four joints. Effusion was shown by US in nine areas of six joints and by MRI in 17 areas of five joints. MRI detected juxta-articular bone marrow edema in 16 areas of eight joints.
Conclusions
The results of this pilot study indicate that both MRI and US provide valuable imaging information on disease activity in JIA. Importantly, the two techniques seem to complement each other and give partly different information. Although MRI is considered to be the reference standard for advanced imaging in adult rheumatology, US seems to provide useful imaging information that could make it an option in daily clinical practice, in JIA as well as in adult rheumatology. However, the current work represents a pilot study, and thus our results need to be confirmed in a larger prospective clinical investigation.
doi:10.1186/1546-0096-10-23
PMCID: PMC3608365  PMID: 22897976
Ultrasonography; Color Doppler; MRI; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
3.  Active synovial matrix metalloproteinase-2 is associated with radiographic erosions in patients with early synovitis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):145-153.
Serum and synovial tissue expression of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 and their molecular regulators, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 was examined in 28 patients with inflammatory early synovitis and 4 healthy volunteers and correlated with the presence of erosions in the patients. Immunohistological staining of MMP-2, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 localized to corresponding areas in the synovial lining layer and was almost absent in normal synovium. Patients with radiographic erosions had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than patients with no erosions, suggesting that activated MMP-2 levels in synovial tissue may be a marker for a more aggressive synovial lesion.
Introduction:
In cancer the gelatinases [matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9] have been shown to be associated with tissue invasion and metastatic disease. In patients with inflammatory arthritis the gelatinases are expressed in the synovial membrane, and have been implicated in synovial tissue invasion into adjacent cartilage and bone. It is hypothesized that an imbalance between the activators and inhibitors of the gelatinases results in higher levels of activity, enhanced local proteolysis, and bone erosion.
Objectives:
To determine whether the expression and activity levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their regulators MMP-14 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP), are associated with early erosion formation in patients with synovitis of recent onset.
Patients and method:
A subset of 66 patients was selected from a larger early synovitis cohort on the basis of tissue availability for the study of synovial tissue and serum gelatinase expression. Patients with peripheral joint synovitis of less than 1 years' duration were evaluated clinically and serologically on four visits over a period of 12 months. At the initial visit, patients underwent a synovial tissue biopsy of one swollen joint, and patients had radiographic evaluation of hands and feet initially and at 1year. Serum MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were determined, and synovial tissue was examined by immunohistology for the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their molecular regulators. Gelatinolytic activity for MMP-2 and MMP-9 was quantified using a sensitive, tissue-based gel zymography technique. Four healthy individuals underwent closed synovial biopsy and their synovial tissues were similarly analyzed.
Results:
Of the 66 patients studied, 45 fulfilled American College of Rheumatology criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with 32 (71%) being rheumatoid factor positive. Of the 21 non-RA patients, seven had a spondylarthropathy and 14 had undifferentiated arthritis. Radiographically, 12 of the RA patients had erosions at multiple sites by 1 year, whereas none of the non-RA patients had developed erosive disease of this extent. In the tissue, latent MMP-2 was widely expressed in the synovial lining layer and in areas of stromal proliferation in the sublining layer and stroma, whereas MMP-9 was expressed more sparsely and focally. MMP-14, TIMP-2, and MMP-2 were all detected in similar areas of the lining layer on consecutive histologic sections. Tissue expression of MMP-14, the activator for pro-MMP-2, was significantly higher in RA than in non-RA patients (8.4 ± 5 versus 3.7 ± 4 cells/high-power field; P = 0.009). In contrast, the expression of TIMP-2, an inhibitor of MMP-2, was lower in the RA than in the non-RA samples (25 ± 12 versus 39 ± 9 cells/high-power field; P = 0.01). Synovial tissue expressions of MMP-2, MMP-14, and TIMP-2 were virtually undetectable in normal synovial tissue samples. The synovial tissue samples of patients with erosive disease had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than did those of patients without erosions (Fig. 1). Tissue expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, however, did not correlate with the serum levels of these enzymes.
With the exception of serum MMP-2, which was not elevated over normal, serum levels of all of the other MMPs and TIMPs were elevated to varying degrees, and were not predictive of erosive disease. Interestingly, MMP-1 and C-reactive protein, both of which were associated with the presence of erosions, were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.42; P < 0.001).
Discussion:
MMP-2 and MMP-9 are thought to play an important role in the evolution of joint erosions in patients with an inflammatory arthritis. Most studies have concentrated on the contribution of MMP-9 to the synovitis, because synovial fluid and serum MMP-9 levels are markedly increased in inflammatory arthropathies. Previously reported serum levels of MMP-9 have varied widely. In the present sample of patients with synovitis of recent onset, serum MMP-9 levels were elevated in only 21%. Moreover, these elevations were not specific for RA, the tissue expression of MMP-9 was focal, and the levels of MMP-9 activity were not well correlated with early erosions. Although serum MMP-2 levels were not of prognostic value, high synovial tissue levels of MMP-2 activity were significantly correlated with the presence of early erosions. This may reflect augmented activation of MMP-2 by the relatively high levels of MMP-14 and low levels of TIMP-2 seen in these tissues. We were able to localize the components of this trimolecular complex to the synovial lining layer in consecutive tissue sections, a finding that is consistent with their colocalization.
In conclusion, we have provided evidence that active MMP-2 complexes are detectable in the inflamed RA synovium and may be involved in the development of early bony erosions. These results suggest that strategies to inhibit the activation of MMP-2 may have the potential for retarding or preventing early erosions in patients with inflammatory arthritis.
PMCID: PMC17808  PMID: 11062605
early synovitis; erosion; metalloproteinase; matrix metalloproteinase-2; rheumatoid arthritis
4.  Adverse effects of adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of human transforming growth factor beta 1 into rabbit knees 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2003;5(3):R132-R139.
To examine the effect of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 on the regulation of cartilage synthesis and other articular pathologies, we used adenovirus-mediated intra-articular gene transfer of TGF-β1 to both naïve and arthritic rabbit knee joints. Increasing doses of adenoviral vector expressing TGF-β1 were injected into normal and antigen-induced arthritis rabbit knee joints through the patellar tendon, with the same doses of an adenoviral vector expressing luciferase injected into the contralateral knees as the control. Intra-articular injection of adenoviral vector expressing TGF-β1 into the rabbit knee resulted in dose-dependent TGF-β1 expression in the synovial fluid. Intra-articular TGF-β1 expression in both naïve and arthritic rabbit knee joints resulted in significant pathological changes in the rabbit knee as well as in adjacent muscle tissue. The observed changes induced by elevated TGF-β1 included inhibition of white blood cell infiltration, stimulation of glycosaminoglycan release and nitric oxide production, and induction of fibrogenesis and muscle edema. In addition, induction of chondrogenesis within the synovial lining was observed. These results suggest that even though TGF-β1 may have anti-inflammatory properties, it is unable to stimulate repair of damaged cartilage, even stimulating cartilage degradation. Gene transfer of TGF-β1 to the synovium is thus not suitable for treating intra-articular pathologies.
doi:10.1186/ar745
PMCID: PMC165041  PMID: 12723985
arthritis gene therapy; cartilage degradation; inflammatory; nitric oxide; rabbit model; transforming growth factor-β1
5.  Monoarticular antigen-induced arthritis leads to pronounced bilateral upregulation of the expression of neurokinin 1 and bradykinin 2 receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons of rats 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(5):424-427.
This study describes the upregulation of neurokinin 1 and bradykinin 2 receptors in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in the course of antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) in the rat knee. In the acute phase of AIA, which was characterized by pronounced hyperalgesia, there was a substantial bilateral increase in the proportion of lumbar DRG neurons that express neurokinin 1 receptors (activated by substance P) and bradykinin 2 receptors. In the chronic phase the upregulation of bradykinin 2 receptors persisted on the side of inflammation. The increase in the receptor expression is relevant for the generation of acute and chronic inflammatory pain.
Introduction:
Ongoing pain and hyperalgesia (enhanced pain response to stimulation of the tissue) are major symptoms of arthritis. Arthritic pain results from the activation and sensitization of primary afferent nociceptive nerve fibres ('pain fibres') supplying the tissue (peripheral sensitization) and from the activation and sensitization of nociceptive neurons in the central nervous system (central sensitization). After sensitization, nociceptive neurons respond more strongly to mechanical and thermal stimulation of the tissue, and their activation threshold is lowered. The activation and sensitization of primary afferent fibres results from the action of inflammatory mediators such as bradykinin (BK), prostaglandins and others on membrane receptors located on these neurons. BK is a potent pain-producing substance that is contained in inflammatory exudates. Up to 50% of the primary afferent nerve fibres have receptors for BK. When primary afferent nerve fibres are activated they can release neuropeptides such as substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide from their sensory endings in the tissue. SP contributes to the inflammatory changes in the innervated tissue (neurogenic inflammation), and it might also support the sensitization of nociceptive nerve fibres by binding to neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptors. NK1 receptors are normally expressed on a small proportion of the primary afferent nerve fibres.
Aims:
Because the expression of receptors on the primary afferent neurons is essential for the pain-producing action of inflammatory mediators and neuropeptides, we investigated in the present study whether the expression of BK and NK1 receptors on primary afferent neurons is altered during the acute and chronic phases of an antigen-induced arthritis (AIA). AIA resembles in many aspects the inflammatory process of human rheumatoid arthritis. Because peptide receptors are expressed not only in the terminals of the primary afferent units but also in the cell bodies, we removed dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) of both sides from control rats and from rats with the acute or chronic phase of AIA and determined, after short-term culture of the neurons, the proportion of DRG neurons that expressed the receptors in the different phases of AIA. We also characterized the inflammatory process and the nociceptive behaviour of the rats in the course of AIA.
Materials and methods:
In 33 female Lewis rats 10 weeks old, AIA was induced in the right knee joint. First the rats were immunized in two steps with methylated bovine serum albumin (m-BSA) emulsified with Freund's complete adjuvant, and heat-inactivated Bordetella pertussis. After immunization, m-BSA was injected into the right knee joint cavity to induce arthritis. The joint swelling was measured at regular intervals. Nociceptive (pain) responses to mechanical stimulation of the injected and the contralateral knee were monitored in the course of AIA. Groups of rats were killed at different time points after the induction of AIA, and inflammation and destruction in the knee joint were graded by histological examination. The DRGs of both sides were dissected from segments L1–L5 and C1–C7 from arthritic rats, from eight immunized rats without arthritis and from ten normal control rats. Excised DRGs were dissociated into single cells which were cultured for 18 h.
The expression of the receptors was determined by assessment of the binding of SP-gold or BK-gold to the cultured neurons. For this purpose the cells were slightly fixed. Binding of SP-gold or BK-gold was detected by using enhancement with silver and subsequent densitometric analysis of the relative grey values of the neurons. Displacement controls were performed with SP, the specific NK1 receptor agonist [Sar9, Met(O2)11]-SP, BK, the specific BK 1 (B1) receptor agonist D-Arg (Hyp3-Thi5,8-D-Phe7)-BK and the specific BK 2 (B2) receptor agonist (Des-Arg10)-Lys-BK.
Results:
The inflammatory process in the injected right knee joint started on the first day after induction of AIA and persisted throughout the observation period of 84 days (Fig. 1). The initial phase of AIA was characterized by strong joint swelling and a predominantly granulocytic infiltration of the synovial membrane and the joint cavity (acute inflammatory changes). In the later phases of AIA (10–84 days after induction of AIA) the joint showed persistent swelling, and signs of chronic arthritic alterations such as infiltration of mononuclear leucocytes, hyperplasia of synovial lining layer (pannus formation) and erosions of cartilage and bone were predominant. The contralateral knee joints appeared normal at all time points. Destruction was observed only in the injected knee but some proteoglycan loss was also noted in the non-injected, contralateral knee. In the acute and initial chronic phases of AIA (1–29 days) the rats showed mechanical hyperalgesia in the inflamed knee (limping, withdrawal response to gentle pressure onto the knee). In the acute phase (up to 9 days) a pain response was also seen when gentle pressure was applied to the contralateral knee.
Figure 2 displays the changes in the receptor expression in the DRG neurons during AIA. The expression of SP–gold-binding sites in lumbar DRG neurons (Fig. 2a) was substantially increased in the acute phase of arthritis. In untreated control rats (n = 5), 7.7 ± 3.8% of the DRG neurons from the right side and 10.0 ± 1.7% of the DRG neurons from the left side showed labelling with SP–gold. The proportion of SP–gold-labelled neurons in immunized animals without knee injection (n = 3) was similar. By contrast, at days 1 (n = 2 rats) and 3 (n = 5 rats) of AIA in the right knee, approximately 50% of the DRG neurons exhibited labelling with SP–gold, and this was seen both on the side of the injected knee and on the opposite side. At day 10 of AIA (n = 3 rats), 26.3 ± 6.1% of the ipsilateral DRG neurons but only 15.7 ± 0.6% of the contralateral neurons exhibited binding of SP–gold. At days 21 (n = 5 rats), 42 (n = 3 rats) and 84 (n = 5 rats) of AIA, the proportion of SP–gold-positive neurons had returned to the control values, although the arthritis, now with signs of chronic inflammation, was still present. Compared with the DRG neurons of the untreated control rats, the increase in the proportion of labelled neurons was significant on both sides in the acute phase (days 1 and 3) and the intermediate phase (day 10) of AIA (Mann–Whitney U-test). The size distribution of the neurons was similar in the DRG neurons of all experimental groups. Under all conditions and at all time points, SP–gold binding was found mainly in small and medium-sized (less than 700 μm2) neurons. In the cervical DRGs the expression of NK1 receptors did not change in the course of AIA. The binding of SP–gold to the neurons was suppressed by the coadministration of the specific NK1 receptor agonist [Sar9, Met(O2)11]–SP in three experiments, showing that SP–gold was bound to NK1 receptors.
The expression of BK–gold-binding sites in the lumbar DRG neurons showed also changes in the course of AIA, but the pattern was different (Fig. 2b). In untreated control rats (n = 5), 42.3 ± 3.1% of the DRG neurons of the right side and 39.6 ± 2.6% of the DRG neurons of the left side showed binding of BK–gold. At days 1 (n = 2 rats) and 3 (n = 5 rats) of AIA, approximately 80% of the DRG neurons on the side of the knee injection (ipsilateral) and approximately 70% on the opposite side were labelled. In comparison with the untreated control group, the increase in the proportion of labelled neurons was significant on both sides. The proportion of labelled neurons in the ipsilateral DRGs remained significantly increased in both the intermediate phase (day 10, n = 3 rats) and chronic phase (days 21, n = 5 rats, and 42, n = 3 rats) of inflammation. At 84 days after the induction of AIA (n = 5 rats), 51.0 ± 12.7% of the neurons showed an expression of BK–gold-binding sites and this was close to the prearthritic values. However, in the contralateral DRG of the same animals the proportion of BK–gold-labelled neurons declined in the intermediate phase (day 10) and chronic phase (days 21–84) of AIA and was not significantly different from the control value. Thus the increase in BK–gold-labelled neurons was persistent on the side where the inflammation had been induced, and transient on the opposite side. The size distribution of the DRG neurons of the different experimental groups was similar. In the cervical DRGs the expression of BK receptors did not change in the course of AIA. In another series of experiments, we determined the subtype(s) of BK receptor(s) that were expressed in DRGs L1–L5 in different experimental groups. In neither untreated control animals (n = 5) nor immunized rats without knee injection (n = 5) nor in rats at 3 days (n = 5) and 42 days (n = 5) of AIA was the binding of BK–gold decreased by the coadministration of BK–gold and the B1 agonist. By contrast, in these experimental groups the binding of BK–gold was suppressed by the coadministration of the B2 agonist. These results show that B2 receptors, but not B1 receptors, were expressed in both normal animals and in animals with AIA.
Discussion:
These results show that in AIA in the rat the expression of SP-binding and BK-binding sites in the perikarya of DRGs L1–L5 is markedly upregulated in the course of knee inflammation. Although the inflammation was induced on one side only, the initial changes in the binding sites were found in the lumbar DRGs of both sides. No upregulation of SP-binding or BK-binding sites was observed in the cervical DRGs. The expression of SP-binding sites was upregulated only in the first days of AIA, that is, in the acute phase, in which the pain responses to mechanical stimulation were most pronounced. By contrast, the upregulation of BK-binding sites on the side of AIA persisted for up to 42 days, that is, in the acute and chronic phase of AIA. Only the B2 receptor, not the B1 receptor, was upregulated. The coincidence of the enhanced expression of NK1 and BK receptors on sensory neurons and the pain behaviour suggests that the upregulation of these receptors is relevant for the generation and maintenance of arthritic pain.
In the acute phase of AIA, approximately 50% of the lumbar DRG neurons showed an expression of SP-binding sites. Because peptide receptors are transported to the periphery, the marked upregulation of SP-binding receptors probably leads to an enhanced density of receptors in the sensory endings of the primary afferent units. This will permit SP to sensitize more neurons under inflammatory conditions than under normal conditions. However, the expression of NK1 receptors was upregulated only in the acute phase of inflammation, suggesting that SP and NK1 receptors are less important for the generation of hyperalgesia in the chronic phase of AIA.
Because BK is one of the most potent algesic compounds, the functional consequence of the upregulation of BK receptors is likely to be of immediate importance for the generation and maintenance of inflammatory pain. The persistence of the upregulation of BK receptors on the side of inflammation suggests that BK receptors should be an interesting target for pain treatment in the acute and chronic phases. Only B2 receptors were identified in normal animals and in rats with AIA. This is surprising because previous pharmacological studies have provided evidence that, during inflammation, B1 receptors can be newly expressed.
Receptor upregulation in the acute phase of AIA was bilateral and almost symmetrical. However, hyperalgesia was much more pronounced on the inflamed side. It is most likely that receptors on the contralateral side were not readily activated because in the absence of gross inflammation the local concentration of the ligands BK and SP was probably quite low. We hypothesize that the bilateral changes in receptor expression are generated at least in part by mechanisms involving the nervous system. Symmetrical segmental changes can be produced only by the symmetrical innervation, involving either the sympathetic nervous system or the primary afferent fibres. Under inflammatory conditions, primary afferent fibres can be antidromically activated bilaterally in the entry zone of afferent fibres in the spinal cord, and it was proposed that this antidromic activation might release neuropeptides and thus contribute to neurogenic inflammation. Because both sympathetic efferent fibres and primary afferent nerve fibres can aggravate inflammatory symptoms, it is also conceivable that they are involved in the regulation of receptor expression in primary afferent neurons. A neurogenic mechanism might also have been responsible for the bilateral degradation of articular cartilage in the present study.
PMCID: PMC17819  PMID: 11056677
antigen-induced arthritis; bradykinin receptor; dorsal root ganglion neurons; neurokinin 1 receptor; pain
6.  FcgammaR expression on macrophages is related to severity and chronicity of synovial inflammation and cartilage destruction during experimental immune-complex-mediated arthritis (ICA) 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(6):489-503.
We investigated the role of Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) on synovial macrophages in immune-complex-mediated arthritis (ICA). ICA elicited in knee joints of C57BL/6 mice caused a short-lasting, florid inflammation and reversible loss of proteoglycans (PGs), moderate chondrocyte death, and minor erosion of the cartilage. In contrast, when ICA was induced in knee joints of Fc receptor (FcR) γ-chain-/- C57BL/6 mice, which lack functional FcγRI and RIII, inflammation and cartilage destruction were prevented. When ICA was elicited in DBA/1 mice, a very severe, chronic inflammation was observed, and significantly more chondrocyte death and cartilage erosion than in arthritic C57BL/6 mice. The synovial lining and peritoneal macrophages of naïve DBA/1 mice expressed a significantly higher level of FcγRs than was seen in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, elevated and prolonged expression of IL-1 was found after stimulation of these cells with immune complexes. Zymosan or streptococcal cell walls caused comparable inflammation and only mild cartilage destruction in all strains. We conclude that FcγR expression on synovial macrophages may be related to the severity of synovial inflammation and cartilage destruction during ICA.
Introduction:
Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) present on cells of the haematopoietic lineage communicate with IgG-containing immune complexes that are abundant in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In mice, three classes of FcγR (RI, RII, and RIII) have been described. Binding of these receptors leads to either activation (FcγRI and RIII) or deactivation (FcγRII) of intracellular transduction pathways. Together, the expression of activating and inhibitory receptors is thought to drive immune-complex-mediated diseases.
Earlier studies in our laboratory showed that macrophages of the synovial lining are of utmost importance in the onset and propagation of immune-complex-driven arthritic diseases. Selective depletion of macrophages in the joint downregulated both inflammation and cartilage destruction. As all three classes of FcγR are expressed on synovial macrophages, these cells are among the first that come in contact with immune complexes deposited in the joint. Recently, we observed that when immune complexes were injected into the knee joints of mice, strains susceptible to collagen-type-II arthritis (DBA/1, B10.RIII) developed more severe arthritis than nonsusceptible strains did, or even developed chronic arthritis. One reason why these strains are more susceptible might be their higher levels of FcγRs on macrophage membranes. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the role of FcγRs in inflammation and cartilage damage during immune-complex-mediated arthritis (ICA). First, we studied arthritis and subsequent cartilage damage in mice lacking functional FcγRI and RIII (FcR γ-chain-/- mice). Next, DBA/1 mice, which are prone to develop collagen-type-II arthritis (`collagen-induced arthritis'; CIA) and are hypersensitive to immune complexes, were compared with control C57BL/6 mice as regards cartilage damage and the expression and function of FcγRs on their macrophages.
Aims:
To examine whether FcγR expression on macrophages is related to severity of synovial inflammation and cartilage destruction during immune-complex-mediated joint inflammation.
Methods:
ICA was induced in three strains of mice (FcR γ-chain-/-, C57BL/6, and DBA/1, which have, respectively, no functional FcγRI and RIII, intermediate basal expression of FcγRs, and high basal expression of FcγRs) by passive immunisation using rabbit anti-lysozyme antibodies, followed by poly-L-lysine lysozyme injection into the right knee joint 1 day later. In other experiments, streptococcal-cell-wall (SCW)- or zymosan-induced arthritis was induced by injecting SCW (25 μg) or zymosan (180 μg) directly into the knee joint. At several time points after arthritis induction, knee joints were dissected and studied either histologically (using haematoxylin/eosin or safranin O staining) or immuno-histochemically. The arthritis severity and the cartilage damage were scored separately on an arbitrary scale of 0-3.
FcγRs were immunohistochemically detected using the monoclonal antibody 2.4G2, which detects both FcγRII and RIII. Deposition of IgG and C3c in the arthritic joint tissue was also detected immunohistochemically. Expression of FcγRs by murine peritoneal macrophages was measured using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS).
Peritoneal macrophages were stimulated using heat-aggregated gamma globulins (HAGGs), and production of IL-1 was measured using a bioassay. To assess the levels of IL-1 and its receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) during arthritis, tissue was dissected and washed in RPMI medium. Washouts were tested for levels of IL-1 and IL-1Ra using radioimmunoassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. mRNA was isolated from the tissue, and levels of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, IL-1, and IL-1Ra were determined using semiquantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Results:
ICA induced in knee joints of C57BL/6 mice caused a florid inflammation at day 3 after induction. To investigate whether this arthritis was FcγR-mediated, ICA was induced in FcR γ-chain-/- mice, which lack functional FcγRI and RIII. At day3, virtually no inflammatory cells were found in their knee joints. Levels of mRNA of IL-1, IL-1Ra, MCP-1, and MIP-2, which are involved in the onset of this arthritis, were significantly lower in FcR γ-chain-/- mice than in control C57BL/6 mice. Levels of IL-1 protein were also measured. At 6 h after ICA induction, FcR γ-chain-/- mice and control C57BL/6 mice showed similar IL-1 production as measured by protein level. By 24 h after induction, however, IL-1 production in the FcR γ-chain-/- mice was below the detection limit, whereas the controls were still producing a significant amount. To investigate whether the difference in reaction to immune complexes between the DBA/1 and C57BL/6 mice might be due to variable expression of FcγRs in the knee joint, expression in situ of FcγRs in naïve knee joints of these mice was determined. The monoclonal antibody 2.4G2, which detects both FcγRII and RIII, stained macrophages from the synovial lining of DBA/1 mice more intensely than those from C57BL/6 mice. This finding suggests a higher constitutive expression of FcγRs by macrophages of the autoimmune-prone DBA/1 mice. To quantify the difference in FcγR expression on macrophages of the two strains, we determined the occurrence of FcγRs on peritoneal macrophages by FACS analysis. The levels of FcγR expressed by macrophages were twice as high in the DBA/1 mice as in the C57BL/6 mice (mean fluorescence, respectively, 440 ± 50 and 240 ± 30 intensity per cell). When peritoneal macrophages of both strains were stimulated with immune complexes (HAGGs), we found that the difference in basal FcγR expression was functional. The stimulated macrophages from DBA/1 mice had significantly higher IL-1α levels (120 and 135 pg/ml at 24 and 48 h, respectively) than cells from C57BL/6 mice (45 and 50 pg/ml, respectively).
When arthritis was induced using other arthritogenic triggers than immune complexes (zymosan, SCW), all the mouse strains tested (DBA/1, FcR γ-chain-/-, and C57BL/6) showed similar inflammation, indicating that the differences described above are found only when immune complexes are used to elicit arthritis.
We next compared articular cartilage damage in arthritic joints of the three mouse strains FcR γ-chain-/-, C57BL/6 (intermediate basal expression of FcγRs), and DBA/1 (high basal expression of FcγRs). Three indicators of cartilage damage were investigated: depletion of PGs, chondrocyte death, and erosion of the cartilage matrix. At day 3 after induction of ICA, there was no PG depletion in FcR γ-chain-/- mice, whereas PG depletion in the matrix of the C57BL/6 mice was marked and that in the arthritic DBA/1 mice was even greater. PG depletion was still massive at days 7 and 14 in the DBA/1 mice, whereas by day 14 the PG content was almost completely restored in knee joints of the C57BL/6 mice. Chondrocyte death and erosion of cartilage matrix, two indicators of more severe cartilage destruction, were significantly higher in the DBA/1 than in the C57BL/6 mice, while both indicators were completely absent in the FcR γ-chain-/- mice. Again, when arthritis was induced using other triggers (SCW, zymosan), all strains showed similar PG depletion and no chondrocyte death or matrix erosion. These findings underline the important role of immune complexes and FcγRs in irreversible cartilage damage.
Discussion:
Our findings indicate that inflammation and subsequent cartilage damage caused by immune complexes may be related to the occurrence of FcγRs on macrophages. The absence of functional FcγRI and RIII prevented inflammation and cartilage destruction after induction of ICA, whereas high basal expression of FcγRs on resident joint macrophages of similarly treated mice susceptible to autoimmune arthritis was correlated with markedly more synovial inflammation and cartilage destruction. The difference in joint inflammation between the three strains was not due to different susceptibilities to inflammation per se, since intra-articular injection of zymosan or SCW caused comparable inflammation. Although extensive inflammatory cell mass was found in the synovium of all strains after intra-articular injection of zymosan, no irreversible cartilage damage (chondrocyte death or matrix erosion) was found. ICA induced in C57BL/6 and DBA/1 mice did cause irreversible cartilage damage at later time points, indicating that immune complexes and FcγRs play an important role in inducing irreversible cartilage damage. Macrophages communicate with immune complexes via Fcγ receptors. Absence of functional activating receptors completely abrogates the synovial inflammation, as was shown after ICA induction in FcR γ-chain-/- mice. However, the γ-chain is essential not only in FcγRI and RIII but also for FcεRI (found on mast cells) and the T cell receptor (TcR)-CD3 (Tcells) complex of γδT cells. However, T, B, or mast cells do not play a role in this arthritis that is induced by passive immunisation. Furthermore, this effect was not caused by a difference in clearance of IgG or complement deposition in the tissue. In this study, DBA/1 mice, which are susceptible to collagen-induced autoimmune arthritis and in a recent study have been shown to react hypersensitively to immune complexes, are shown to express higher levels of FcγRs on both synovial and peritoneal macrophages. Because antibodies directed against the different subclasses of FcγR are not available, no distinction could be made between FcγRII and RIII. Genetic differences in DBA/1 mice in genes coding for or regulating FcγRs may be responsible for altered FcγR expression. If so, these mouse strains would have a heightened risk for immune-complex-mediated diseases.
To provide conclusive evidence for the roles of the various classes of FcγR during ICA, experiments are needed in which FcγRs are blocked with specific antibodies, or in which knockout mice lacking one specific class of FcγR are used. The only available specific antibody to FcγR (2.4G2) has a stimulatory effect on cells once bound to the receptor, and therefore cannot be used in blocking experiments. Experiments using specific knockout mice are now being done in our laboratory.
Macrophages are the dominant type of cell present in chronic inflammation during RA and their number has been shown to correlate well with severe cartilage destruction. Apart from that, in humans, these synovial tissue macrophages express activating FcRs, mainly FcγIIIa, which may lead to activation of these macrophages by IgG-containing immune complexes. The expression of FcRs on the surface of these cells may have important implications for joint inflammation and severe cartilage destruction and therefore FCRs may constitute a new target for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC17821  PMID: 11056679
autoimmunity; cytokines; Fc receptors; inflammation; macrophages
7.  Fluid movement and joint capsule strains due to flexion in rabbit knees 
Journal of biomechanics  2011;44(16):2761-2767.
Diarthrodial joints are freely moveable joints containing synovial fluid (SF) within a connective tissue joint capsule that allows for low-friction and low-wear articulation of the cartilaginous ends of long bones. Biomechanical cues from joint articulation regulate synoviocyte and cartilage biology via joint capsule strain, in turn altering the composition of SF. Joint flexion is clinically associated with pain in knees with arthritis and effusion, with the nociception possibly originating from joint capsule strain. The hypothesis of this study was that knee fluid volume distribution and joint capsule strain are altered with passive flexion in the rabbit model. The aims were to (a) determine the volume distribution of fluid in the joint at different total volumes and with flexion of rabbit knees ex vivo, (b) correlate the volume distribution for the ex vivo model to in vivo data, and (c) determine the strains at different locations in the joint capsule with flexion. During knee flexion, ~20% of anteriorly located joint fluid moved posteriorly, correlating well with the fluid motion observed in in vivo joints. Planar joint capsule principal strains were ~100% (tension) in the proximal–distal direction and ~ −40% (shortening) in the circumferential direction, relative to the femur axis and 30° strain state. The joint capsule strains with flexion are consistent with the mechanics of the tendons and ligaments from which the capsule tissue is derived. The movement and mixing of SF volume with flexion determine the mechanical and biological fluid environment within the knee joint. Joint fluid movement and capsular strains affect synovial cell biology and likely modulate trans-synovial transport.
doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.09.005
PMCID: PMC3241937  PMID: 21945567
Joint capsule; Strain; Rabbit model; Synovial fluid; Mechanobiology
8.  Power Doppler sonography in the assessment of synovial tissue of the knee joint in rheumatoid arthritis: a preliminary experience 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2002;61(10):877-882.
Objective: To investigate the intra-articular vascularisation of the synovial pannus in the knee of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with power Doppler ultrasonography (PDS) and an echo contrast agent and correlate the area under the time-intensity curves with the clinical findings and laboratory measures of disease activity.
Method: Forty two patients with RA (31 women, 11 men) with history and signs of knee arthritis, classified according to a modified index of synovitis activity (active, moderately active, and inactive), were studied. Clinical and functional assessment (number of swollen joints, intensity of pain, general health—visual analogue scale, disability index—Health Assessment Questionnaire, Ritchie articular index) and a laboratory evaluation were made on all patients. Disease activity was evaluated using the disease activity score (DAS) and the chronic arthritis systemic index (CASI) for each patient. All patients were examined with conventional ultrasonography and PDS before injection of intravenous ultrasound contrast agent (Levovist). The quantitative estimation of the vascularisation of the synovial membrane was performed with time-intensity curves and calculation of the area under the curves.
Results: The mean (SD) value of the area underlying time-intensity curves was 216.2 (33.4) in patients with active synovitis, 186.8 (25.8) in patients with moderately active synovitis, and 169.6 (20.6) in those with inactive synovitis. The mean value of the areas differed significantly between the patients with active and those with inactive synovitis (p<0.01). The mean value of the area under the curve of the entire group was weakly correlated with the number of swollen joints (p=0.038), but a strong correlation was found with composite indexes of disease activity such as the DAS (p=0.006) and CASI (p=0.01). No correlation was found with age, disease duration, and other laboratory and clinical variables.
Conclusion: PDS may be a valuable tool to detect fractional vascular volume and to assist clinicians in distinguishing between inflammatory and non-inflammatory pannus. The transit of microbubbles of ultrasound contrast across a tissue can be used to estimate haemodynamic alterations and may have a role in assessing synovial activity and the therapeutic response to treatment of synovitis of the knee joint.
doi:10.1136/ard.61.10.877
PMCID: PMC1753902  PMID: 12228155
9.  Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging as marker of synovial membrane regeneration and recurrence of synovitis after arthroscopic knee joint synovectomy: a one year follow up study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2001;60(3):233-236.
OBJECTIVES—By repeated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study synovial membrane regeneration and recurrence of synovitis after arthroscopic knee joint synovectomy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other (non-RA) causes of persistent knee joint synovitis.
METHODS—Contrast enhanced MRI was performed in 15 knees (nine RA, six non-RA) before and one day, seven days, two months, and 12 months after arthroscopic synovectomy. Synovial membrane volumes, joint effusion volumes, and cartilage and bone destruction were assessed on each MRI set. Baseline microscopic and macroscopic assessments of synovitis and baseline and follow up standard clinical and biochemical examinations were available.
RESULTS—Synovial membrane and joint fluid volumes were significantly reduced two and 12 months after synovectomy. However, MRI signs of recurrent synovitis were already present in most knees at two months. No significant differences between volumes in RA and non-RA knees were seen. Synovial membrane volumes at two months were significantly inversely correlated with the duration of clinical remission, for all knees considered together (Spearman's correlation rs=−0.67; p<0.05), for RA knees (rs=−0.76; p<0.05), and for non-RA knees (rs=−0.83; p<0.05). Baseline volumes were not significantly correlated with clinical outcome. Only three knees (all RA) showed erosive progression. The rate of erosive progression was not correlated with MRI volumes or with clinical or biochemical parameters.
CONCLUSION—The synovial membrane had regenerated two months after arthroscopic knee joint synovectomy and despite significant volume reductions compared with baseline it often showed signs of recurrent synovitis. MRI seems to be valuable as a marker of inflammation, destruction and, perhaps, as a predictor of therapeutic outcome in arthritis.


doi:10.1136/ard.60.3.233
PMCID: PMC1753576  PMID: 11171684
10.  Synoviocyte-packaged Chlamydia trachomatis induces a chronic aseptic arthritis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;102(10):1776-1782.
The basic mechanisms underlying reactive arthritis and specifically the joint injury that follows intra-articular Chlamydia trachomatis infection have not been defined. The present study addresses this question through the development of an experimental model. Stable cell lines were generated from synoviocytes harvested from the knee joints of Lewis rats. The synoviocytes were cocultivated with C. trachomatis to allow invasion by the microbe and were then transferred by intra-articular injection into the knee joints of Lewis rats. The ensuing arthritis could be subdivided into an early phase (
PMCID: PMC509126  PMID: 9819362
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(6):R133.
Introduction
Adrenomedullin is a potent vasodilatory and hypotensive peptide as well as an endogenous immunomodulatory factor with predominantly anti-inflammatory effects. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of adrenomedullin in rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis, an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods
Following the induction of arthritis in both knee joints by ovalbumin injection into the joint spaces of pre-immunized rabbits, increasing daily doses of adrenomedullin were injected into the knee joint spaces or saline was injected into the contralateral knee joint spaces as the control. For time-course experiments, adrenomedullin and saline were injected into the knee joint spaces daily for 7 days and 20 days. The degree of joint swelling and the histological change in the knee joints injected with adrenomedullin were compared with the control knee joints. Histological evaluation of the infrapatellar fat pads and synovial tissue was performed. TNFα, IL-6, vascular endothelial growth factor and transforming growth factor-beta mRNA levels in the synovial tissue were measured using real-time quantitative PCR.
Results
Daily injections of adrenomedullin into the knee joint spaces of rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis decreased joint swelling. Histological examination revealed that adrenomedullin reduced edematous changes and the infiltration of inflammatory cells in the synovial tissues. Analysis of mRNA levels showed that adrenomedullin significantly reduced TNFα mRNA expression by 21% to 49% in a dose-dependent manner, and dose-dependently increased IL-6 mRNA expression by 45% to 121%.
Conclusions
These results suggest that daily injections of adrenomedullin into the knee joint spaces of rabbits with antigen-induced arthritis ameliorated the inflammatory response in arthritic joints. Adrenomedullin may thus be useful as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis; however, the effect of adrenomedullin on IL-6 production in the synovial tissue may be an undesirable adverse effect in rheumatoid arthritis therapy.
doi:10.1186/ar2550
PMCID: PMC2656235  PMID: 19014513
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):142-144.
Acute-phase serum amyloid A (A-SAA) is a major component of the acute-phase response. A sustained acute-phase response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased joint damage. A-SAA mRNA expression was confirmed in all samples obtained from patients with RA, but not in normal synovium. A-SAA mRNA expression was also demonstrated in cultured RA synoviocytes. A-SAA protein was identified in the supernatants of primary synoviocyte cultures, and its expression colocalized with sites of macrophage accumulation and with some vascular endothelial cells. It is concluded that A-SAA is produced by inflamed RA synovial tissue. The known association between the acute-phase response and progressive joint damage may be the direct result of synovial A-SAA-induced effects on cartilage degradation.
Introduction:
Serum amyloid A (SAA) is the circulating precursor of amyloid A protein, the fibrillar component of amyloid deposits. In humans, four SAA genes have been described. Two genes (SAA1 and SAA2) encode A-SAA and are coordinately induced in response to inflammation. SAA1 and SAA2 are 95% homologous in both coding and noncoding regions. SAA3 is a pseudogene. SAA4 encodes constitutive SAA and is minimally inducible. A-SAA increases dramatically during acute inflammation and may reach levels that are 1000-fold greater than normal. A-SAA is mainly synthesized in the liver, but extrahepatic production has been demonstrated in many species, including humans. A-SAA mRNA is expressed in RA synoviocytes and in monocyte/macrophage cell lines such as THP-1 cells, in endothelial cells and in smooth muscle cells of atherosclerotic lesions. A-SAA has also been localized to a wide range of histologically normal tissues, including breast, stomach, intestine, pancreas, kidney, lung, tonsil, thyroid, pituitary, placenta, skin and brain.
Aims:
To identify the cell types that produce A-SAA mRNA and protein, and their location in RA synovium.
Materials and methods:
Rheumatoid synovial tissue was obtained from eight patients undergoing arthroscopic biopsy and at joint replacement surgery. Total RNA was analyzed by reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for A-SAA mRNA. PCR products generated were confirmed by Southern blot analysis using human A-SAA cDNA. Localization of A-SAA production was examined by immunohistochemistry using a rabbit antihuman A-SAA polyclonal antibody. PrimaryRA synoviocytes were cultured to examine endogenous A-SAA mRNA expression and protein production.
Results:
A-SAA mRNA expression was detected using RT-PCR in all eight synovial tissue samples studied. Figure 1 demonstrates RT-PCR products generated using synovial tissue from three representative RA patients. Analysis of RA synovial tissue revealed differences in A-SAA mRNA levels between individual RA patients.
In order to identify the cells that expressed A-SAA mRNA in RA synovial tissue, we analyzed primary human synoviocytes (n = 2). RT-PCR analysis revealed A-SAA mRNA expression in primary RA synoviocytes (n = 2; Fig. 2). The endogenous A-SAA mRNA levels detected in individual primary RA synoviocytes varied between patients. These findings are consistent with A-SAA expression in RA synovial tissue (Fig. 1). Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) levels were relatively similar in the RA synoviocytes examined (Fig. 2). A-SAA protein in the supernatants of primary synoviocyte cultures from four RA patients was measured using ELISA. Mean values of a control and four RA samples were 77.85, 162.5, 249.8, 321.5 and 339.04 μg/l A-SAA, respectively, confirming the production of A-SAA protein by the primary RA synoviocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to localize sites of A-SAA production in RA synovial tissue. Positive staining was present in both the lining and sublining layers of all eight RA tissues examined (Fig. 3a). Staining was intense and most prominent in the cells closest to the surface of the synovial lining layer. Positively stained cells were evident in the perivascular areas of the sublining layer. In serial sections stained with anti-CD68 monoclonal antibody, positive staining of macrophages appeared to colocalize with A-SAA-positive cells (Fig. 3b). Immunohistochemical studies of cultured primary RA synoviocytes confirmed specific cytoplasmic A-SAA expression in these cells. The specificity of the staining was confirmed by the absence of staining found on serial sections and synoviocyte cells treated with IgG (Fig. 3c).
Discussion:
This study demonstrates that A-SAA mRNA is expressed in several cell populations infiltrating RA synovial tissue. A-SAA mRNA expression was observed in all eight unseparated RA tissue samples studied. A-SAA mRNA expression and protein production was demonstrated in primary cultures of purified RA synoviocytes. Using immunohistochemical techniques, A-SAA protein appeared to colocalize with both lining layer and sublining layer synoviocytes, macrophages and some endothelial cells. The detection of A-SAA protein in culture media supernatants harvested from unstimulated synoviocytes confirms endogenous A-SAA production, and is consistent with A-SAA mRNA expression and translation by the same cells. Moreover, the demonstration of A-SAA protein in RA synovial tissue, RA cultured synoviocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells is consistent with previous studies that demonstrated A-SAA production by a variety of human cell populations.
The RA synovial lining layer is composed of activated macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes. The macrophage is the predominant cell type and it has been shown to accumulate preferentially in the surface of the lining layer and in the perivascular areas of the sublining layer. Nevertheless, our observations strongly suggest that A-SAA is produced not only by synoviocytes, but also by synovial tissue macrophage populations. Local A-SAA protein production by vascular endothelial cells was detected in some, but not all, of the tissues examined. The reason for the variability in vascular A-SAA staining is unknown, but may be due to differences in endothelial cell activation, events related to angiogenesis or the intensity of local inflammation.
The value of measuring serum A-SAA levels as a reliable surrogate marker of inflammation has been demonstrated for several diseases including RA, juvenile chronic arthritis, psoriatic arthropathy, ankylosing spondylitis, Behçet's disease, reactive arthritis and Crohn's disease. It has been suggested that serum A-SAA levels may represent the most sensitive measurement of the acute-phase reaction. In RA, A-SAA levels provide the strongest correlations with clinical measurements of disease activity, and changes in serum levels best reflect the clinical course.
A number of biologic activities have been described for A-SAA, including several that are relevant to the understanding of inflammatory and tissue-degrading mechanisms in human arthritis. A-SAA induces migration, adhesion and tissue infiltration of circulating monocytes and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. In addition, human A-SAA can induce interleukin-1β, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and soluble type II tumour necrosis factor receptor production by a monocyte cell line. Moreover, A-SAA can stimulate the production of cartilage-degrading proteases by both human and rabbit synoviocytes. The effects of A-SAA on protease production are interesting, because in RA a sustained acute-phase reaction has been strongly associated with progressive joint damage. The known association between the acute-phase response and progressive joint damage may be the direct result of synovial A-SAA-induced effects on cartilage degradation.
Conclusion:
In contrast to noninflamed synovium, A-SAA mRNA expression was identified in all RA tissues examined. A-SAA appeared to be produced by synovial tissue synoviocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells. The observation of A-SAA mRNA expression in cultured RA synoviocytes and human RA synovial tissue confirms and extends recently published findings that demonstrated A-SAA mRNA expression in stimulated RA synoviocytes, but not in unstimulated RA synoviocytes.
PMCID: PMC17807  PMID: 11062604
acute-phase response; rheumatoid arthritis; serum amyloid A; synovial tissue
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(8):2322-2327.
Background
Optical Imaging (OI) is a promising technique that is quick, inexpensive and, in combination with Indocyanine Green (ICG), an FDA-approved fluorescent dye, could provide early detection of rheumatoid arthritis.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a combined X-ray/OI imaging system for ICG-enhanced detection of arthritic joints in a rat model of antigen induced arthritis.
Methods
Arthritis of the knee and ankle joints was induced in six Harlan rats with peptidoglycan polysaccharide polymers (PGPS). Three rats served as non-treated controls. Optical imaging of the knee and ankle joints was done with an integrated OI/X-ray system before and up to 24h post intravenous injection (p.i.) of 10mg/kg ICG. The fluorescence signal intensities of arthritic and normal joints were compared for significant differences using generalized estimation equation models. Specimen of knee and ankle joints were further processed and evaluated by histology.
Results
ICG provided a significant increase in fluorescence signal of arthritic joints compared to baseline values immediately after administration (p<0.05). The fluorescence signal of arthritic joints was significantly higher compared to the non-arthritic control joints at 1 - 720 min p.i. (p<0.05). Fusion of ICG-enhanced OI and X-rays allowed for anatomical co-registration of the inflamed tissue with the associated joint. H&E stains confirmed marked synovial inflammation of arthritic joints and absence of inflammation in control joints.
Conclusion
ICG-enhanced OI is a clinically applicable tool for detection of arthritic tissue. Using relatively high doses of ICG, a long term fluorescence enhancement of arthritic joints can be achieved. This may facilitate simultaneous evaluations of multiple joints in a clinical setting. Fusion of ICG-OI scans with X-ray imaging increases anatomical resolution.
doi:10.1002/art.27542
PMCID: PMC2921028  PMID: 20506388
Arthritis Research  2000;2(4):293-302.
To determine whether IL-4 is therapeutic in treating established experimental arthritis, a recombinant adenovirus carrying the gene that encodes murine IL-4 (Ad-mIL-4) was used for periarticular injection into the ankle joints into mice with established collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Periarticular injection of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a reduction in the severity of arthritis and joint swelling compared with saline- and adenoviral control groups. Local expression of IL-4 also reduced macroscopic signs of joint inflammation and bone erosion. Moreover, injection of Ad-mIL-4 into the hind ankle joints resulted in a decrease in disease severity in the untreated front paws. Systemic delivery of murine IL-4 by intravenous injection of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a significant reduction in the severity of early-stage arthritis.
Introduction:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease that is characterized by joint inflammation, and progressive cartilage and bone erosion. Recent research has identified certain biologic agents that appear more able than conventional therapies to halt effectively the progression of disease, as well as ameliorate disease symptoms. One potential problem with the use of biologic agents for arthritis therapy is the need for daily or weekly repeat dosing. The transfer of genes directly to the synovial lining can theoretically circumvent the need for repeat dosing and reduce potential systemic side effects [1,2]. However, although many genes have been effective in treating murine CIA if administrated at a time before disease onset, local intra-articular or periarticular gene transfer has not been highly effective in halting the progression of established disease. IL-4, similar to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1 inhibitors, has been shown be therapeutic for the treatment of murine CIA when administered intravenously as a recombinant protein, either alone or in combination with IL-10. IL-4 can downregulate the production of proinflammatory and T-helper (Th)1-type cytokines by inducing mRNA degradation and upregulating the expression of inhibitors of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) [3,4]. IL-4 is able to inhibit IL-2 and IFN-γ production by Th1 cells, resulting in suppression of macrophage activation and the production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α by monocytes and macrophages [4,5,6,7,8,9].
Objective:
In order to examine the therapeutic effects of local and systemic IL-4 expression in established CIA, an adenoviral vector carrying the gene for murine IL-4 (Ad-mIL-4) was generated. The ability of Ad-mIL-4 to treat established CIA was evaluated by local periarticular and systemic intravenous injection of Ad-mIL-4 into mice at various times after disease onset.
Materials and methods:
Male DBA/1 lacJ (H-2q) mice, aged 7-8 weeks, were purchased from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, USA). The mice were immunized intradermally at the base of tail with 100 μ g bovine type II collagen. On day 21 after priming, mice received a boost injection (intradermally) with 100 μ g type II collagen in incomplete adjuvant. For the synchronous onset of arthritis, 40 μ g lipopolysaccharide (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA) was injected intraperitoneally on day 28. Ad-mIL-4 was injected periarticularly into the hind ankle joints of mice on day 32 or intravenously by tail vein injection on day 29. Disease severity was monitored every other day using an established macroscopic scoring system ranging from 0 to 4: 0, normal; 1, detectable arthritis with erythma; 2, significant swelling and redness; 3, severe swelling and redness from joint to digit; and 4, maximal swelling with ankylosis. The average of macroscopic score was expressed as a cumulative value for all paws, with a maximum possible score of 16 per mouse. Cytokine production by joint tissue or serum were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA; R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA).
Results:
To examine the therapeutic effects of IL-4 gene transfer in a murine model of arthritis, 5×108 particles of Ad-mIL-4 and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Ad-eGFP) were administered by periarticular injection into the ankle joints of mice with established disease 4 days after lipopolysaccharide injection. All mice had established disease at time of injection. As shown in Figure 1, the severity of arthritis (Fig. 1a), paw thickness (Fig. 1b), and the number of arthritic paws (Fig. 1c) were all significantly reduced in the Ad-mIL-4 group, compared with the saline- and Ad-eGFP-treated groups. Analysis of the bones in the ankle joints of control arthritic mice showed evidence of erosion with an associated monocytic infiltrate around the joint space compared with the Ad-mIL-4-treated and nonarthritic control joints. In addition, injection of the ankle joints in the hind legs resulted in a therapeutic effect in the front paws. A similar contralateral effect has been observed with adenoviral-mediated delivery of viral (v)-IL-10. Interestingly, a high level of murine IL-10 also was detected from the joint lysates of Ad-mIL-4-treated naïve and arthritic mice, with the production of endogenous IL-10 correlating with the dose of Ad-mIL-4. The administration of recombinant IL-4 protein systemically has been shown to be therapeutic in murine CIA models if given before disease onset. To examine the effect of systemic IL-4 delivered by gene transfer, 1×109 particles of Ad-mIL-4 were injected via the tail vein of collagen-immunized mice the day after lipopolysaccharide injection. Whereas the immunized control mice, injected with Ad-eGFP, showed disease onset on day 3 after lipopolysaccharide injection, Ad-mIL-4-treated mice showed a delay in disease onset and as a reduction in the total number of arthritic paws. Also, systemic injection of Ad-mIL-4 suppressed the severity of arthritis in CIA mice according to arthritis index.
Discussion:
Gene therapy represents a novel approach for delivery of therapeutic agents to joints in order to treat the pathologies associated with RA and osteoarthritis, as well as other disorders of the joints. In the present study we examined the ability of local periarticular and systemic gene transfer of IL-4 to treat established and early-stage murine CIA, respectively. We have demonstrated that both local and systemic administration of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a reduction in the severity of arthritis, as well as in the number of arthritic paws. In addition, the local gene transfer of IL-4 reduced histologic signs of inflammation and of bone erosion. Interestingly, local delivery of Ad-mIL-4 was able to confer a therapeutic effect to the untreated, front paws through a currently unknown mechanism. In addition, both local and systemic expression of IL-4 resulted in an increase in the level of endogenous IL-10, as well as of IL-1Ra (data not shown). Previous experiments have shown that gene transfer of IL-10 and IL-1 and TNF inhibitors at the time of disease initiation (day 28) is therapeutic. However, delivery of these agents after disease onset appeared to have only limited therapeutic effect. In contrast, the present results demonstrate that IL-4, resulting from local periarticular and systemic injection of Ad-mIL-4, was able partially to reverse progression of established and early-stage disease, respectively. These results, as well as those of others, support the potential application of IL-4 gene therapy for the clinical treatment of RA.
PMCID: PMC17812  PMID: 11056670
adenoviral vectors; collagen-induced arthritis; gene therapy; IL-4; IL-10; rheumatoid arthritis
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2014;16(4):R150.
Introduction
Estrogen (E2) delays onset and decreases severity of experimental arthritis. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of total estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) expression and cartilage-specific ERα expression in genetically modified mice for the ameliorating effect of estrogen treatment in experimental arthritis.
Methods
Mice with total (total ERα-/-) or cartilage-specific (Col2α1-ERα-/-) inactivation of ERα and wild-type (WT) littermates were ovariectomized, treated with E2 or placebo, and induced with antigen-induced arthritis (AIA). At termination, knees were collected for histology, synovial and splenic cells were investigated by using flow cytometry, and splenic cells were subjected to a T-cell proliferation assay.
Results
E2 decreased synovitis and joint destruction in WT mice. Amelioration of arthritis was associated with decreased frequencies of inflammatory cells in synovial tissue and decreased splenic T-cell proliferation. E2 did not affect synovitis or joint destruction in total ERα-/- mice. In Col2α1-ERα-/- mice, E2 protected against joint destruction to a similar extent as in WT mice. In contrast, E2 did not significantly ameliorate synovitis in Col2α1-ERα-/- mice.
Conclusions
Treatment with E2 ameliorates both synovitis and joint destruction in ovariectomized mice with AIA via ERα. This decreased severity in arthritis is associated with decreased synovial inflammatory cell frequencies and reduced splenic T-cell proliferation. ERα expression in cartilage is not required for estrogenic amelioration of joint destruction. However, our data indicate that ERα expression in cartilage is involved in estrogenic effects on synovitis, suggesting different mechanisms for the amelioration of joint destruction and synovitis by E2.
doi:10.1186/ar4612
PMCID: PMC4226038  PMID: 25028072
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(1):e1.
Background
Follicular structures resembling germinal centres (GCs) that are characterized by follicular dendritic cell (FDC) networks have long been recognized in chronically inflamed tissues in autoimmune diseases, including the synovium of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it is debated whether these ectopic structures promote autoimmunity and chronic inflammation driving the production of pathogenic autoantibodies. Anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA) are highly specific markers of RA, predict a poor prognosis, and have been suggested to be pathogenic. Therefore, the main study objectives were to determine whether ectopic lymphoid structures in RA synovium: (i) express activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), the enzyme required for somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination (CSR) of Ig genes; (ii) support ongoing CSR and ACPA production; and (iii) remain functional in a RA/severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) chimera model devoid of new immune cell influx into the synovium.
Methods and Findings
Using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and quantitative Taqman real-time PCR (QT-PCR) in synovial tissue from 55 patients with RA, we demonstrated that FDC+ structures invariably expressed AID with a distribution resembling secondary lymphoid organs. Further, AID+/CD21+ follicular structures were surrounded by ACPA+/CD138+ plasma cells, as demonstrated by immune reactivity to citrullinated fibrinogen. Moreover, we identified a novel subset of synovial AID+/CD20+ B cells outside GCs resembling interfollicular large B cells. In order to gain direct functional evidence that AID+ structures support CSR and in situ manufacturing of class-switched ACPA, 34 SCID mice were transplanted with RA synovium and humanely killed at 4 wk for harvesting of transplants and sera. Persistent expression of AID and Iγ-Cμ circular transcripts (identifying ongoing IgM-IgG class-switching) was observed in synovial grafts expressing FDCs/CD21L. Furthermore, synovial mRNA levels of AID were closely associated with circulating human IgG ACPA in mouse sera. Finally, the survival and proliferation of functional B cell niches was associated with persistent overexpression of genes regulating ectopic lymphoneogenesis.
Conclusions
Our demonstration that FDC+ follicular units invariably express AID and are surrounded by ACPA-producing plasma cells provides strong evidence that ectopic lymphoid structures in the RA synovium are functional and support autoantibody production. This concept is further confirmed by evidence of sustained AID expression, B cell proliferation, ongoing CSR, and production of human IgG ACPA from GC+ synovial tissue transplanted into SCID mice, independently of new B cell influx from the systemic circulation. These data identify AID as a potential therapeutic target in RA and suggest that survival of functional synovial B cell niches may profoundly influence chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, and response to B cell–depleting therapies.
Costantino Pitzalis and colleagues show that lymphoid structures in synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis support production of anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies, which continues following transplantation into SCID mice.
Editors' Summary
Background.
More than 1 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, an “autoimmune” condition that affects the joints. Normally, the immune system provides protection against infection by responding to foreign antigens (molecules that are unique to invading organisms) while ignoring self-antigens present in the body's own tissues. In autoimmune diseases, this ability to discriminate between self and non-self fails for unknown reasons and the immune system begins to attack human tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joints (the synovium) is attacked, it becomes inflamed and thickened, and chemicals are released that damage all the tissues in the joint. Eventually, the joint may become so scarred that movement is no longer possible. Rheumatoid arthritis usually starts in the small joints in the hands and feet, but larger joints and other tissues (including the heart and blood vessels) can be affected. Its symptoms, which tend to fluctuate, include early morning joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, and feeling generally unwell. Although the disease is not always easy to diagnose, the immune systems of many people with rheumatoid arthritis make “anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies” (ACPA). These “autoantibodies” (which some experts believe can contribute to the joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis) recognize self-proteins that contain the unusual amino acid citrulline, and their detection on blood tests can help make the diagnosis. Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, the recently developed biologic drugs, often used together with the more traditional disease-modifying therapies, are able to halt its progression by specifically blocking the chemicals that cause joint damage. Painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce its symptoms, and badly damaged joints can sometimes be surgically replaced.
Why Was This Study Done?
Before scientists can develop a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, they need to know how and why autoantibodies are made that attack the joints in this common and disabling disease. B cells, the immune system cells that make antibodies, mature in structures known as “germinal centers” in the spleen and lymph nodes. In the germinal centers, immature B cells are exposed to antigens and undergo two genetic processes called “somatic hypermutation” and “class-switch recombination” that ensure that each B cell makes an antibody that sticks as tightly as possible to just one antigen. The B cells then multiply and enter the bloodstream where they help to deal with infections. Interestingly, the inflamed synovium of many patients with rheumatoid arthritis contains structures that resemble germinal centers. Could these ectopic (misplaced) lymphoid structures, which are characterized by networks of immune system cells called follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), promote autoimmunity and long-term inflammation by driving the production of autoantibodies within the joint itself? In this study, the researchers investigate this possibility.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers collected synovial tissue from 55 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and used two approaches, called immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR, to investigate whether FDC-containing structures in synovium expressed an enzyme called activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), which is needed for both somatic hypermutation and class-switch recombination. All the FDC-containing structures that the researchers found in their samples expressed AID. Furthermore, these AID-containing structures were surrounded by mature B cells making ACPAs. To test whether these B cells were derived from AID-expressing cells resident in the synovium rather than ACPA-expressing immune system cells coming into the synovium from elsewhere in the body, the researchers transplanted synovium from patients with rheumatoid arthritis under the skin of a special sort of mouse that largely lacks its own immune system. Four weeks later, the researchers found that the transplanted human lymphoid tissue was still making AID, that the level of AID expression correlated with the amount of human ACPA in the blood of the mice, and that the B cells in the transplant were proliferating.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the ectopic lymphoid structures present in the synovium of some patients with rheumatoid arthritis are functional and are able to make ACPA. Because ACPA may be responsible for joint damage, the survival of these structures could, therefore, be involved in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. More experiments are needed to confirm this idea, but these findings may explain why drugs that effectively clear B cells from the bloodstream do not always produce a marked clinical improvement in rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, they suggest that AID might provide a new target for the development of drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0060001.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Rene Toes and Tom Huizinga
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a page on rheumatoid arthritis (in English and Spanish). MedlinePlus provides links to other information on rheumatoid arthritis (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices information service has detailed information on rheumatoid arthritis
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases provides Fast Facts, an easy to read publication for the public, and a more detailed Handbook on rheumatoid arthritis
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an overview on rheumatoid arthritis that includes statistics about this disease and its impact on daily life
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0060001
PMCID: PMC2621263  PMID: 19143467
Objective
The aim of this study was to determine whether hypercholesterolemia increases articular damage in a rabbit model of chronic arthritis.
Methods
Hypercholesterolemia was induced in 18 rabbits by administrating a high-fat diet (HFD). Fifteen rabbits were fed normal chow as controls. Chronic antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) was induced in half of the HFD and control rabbits, previously immunized, by intra-articular injections of ovalbumin. After sacrifice, lipid and systemic inflammation markers were analyzed in blood serum. Synovium was analyzed by Krenn score, multinucleated cell counting, immunohistochemistry of RAM11 and CD31, and TNF-α and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) gene expression. Active bone resorption was assessed by protein expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and quantification of cathepsin K, contact surface and the invasive area of pannus into bone.
Results
Rabbits receiving the HFD showed higher total serum cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides and CRP levels than rabbits fed a normal diet. Synovitis score was increased in HFD, and particularly in AIA and AIA + HFD groups. AIA + HFD synovium was characterized by a massive infiltration of RAM11+ cells, higher presence of multinucleated foam cells and bigger vascularization than AIA. Cathepsin K+ osteoclasts and the contact surface of bone resorbing pannus were also increased in rabbits with AIA + HFD compared with AIA alone. Synovial TNF-α and MCP-1 gene expression was increased in AIA and HFD rabbits compared with healthy animals. RANKL protein expression in AIA and AIA + HFD groups was higher compared with either HFD or normal groups.
Conclusions
This experimental model demonstrates that hypercholesterolemia increments joint tissue damage in chronic arthritis, with foam macrophages being key players in this process.
doi:10.1186/ar4261
PMCID: PMC3978700  PMID: 23941259
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2005;64(12):1710-1714.
Background: Synovial inflammation (as defined by hypertrophy and effusion) is common in osteoarthritis (OA) and may be important in both pain and structural progression.
Objective: To determine if decision rules can be devised from clinical findings and ultrasonography (US) to allow recognition of synovial inflammation in patients with painful knee OA.
Methods: A EULAR-ESCISIT cross sectional, multicentre study enrolled subjects with painful OA knee who had clinical, radiographic, and US evaluations. A classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was performed to find combinations of predictor variables that would provide high sensitivity and specificity for clinically detecting synovitis and effusion in individual subjects. A range of definitions for the two key US variables, synovitis and effusion (using different combinations of synovial thickness, depth, and appearance), were also included in exploratory analyses.
Results: 600 patients with knee OA were included in the analysis. For both knee synovitis and joint effusion, the sensitivity and specificity were poor, yielding unsatisfactory likelihood ratios (75% sensitivity, 45% specificity, and positive LR of 1.36 for knee synovitis; 71.6% sensitivity, 43.2% specificity, and positive LR of 1.26 for joint effusion). The exploratory analyses did not improve the sensitivity and specificity (demonstrating positive LRs of between 1.26 and 1.57).
Conclusion: Although it is possible to determine clinical and radiological predictors of OA inflammation in populations, CART analysis could not be used to devise useful clinical decision rules for an individual subject. Thus sensitive imaging techniques such as US remain the most useful tool for demonstrating synovial inflammation of the knee at the individual level.
doi:10.1136/ard.2005.038026
PMCID: PMC1755323  PMID: 15878902
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1982;41(5):532-537.
Six groups of 3 rabbits each were immunised with ovalbumin and received one intra-articular injection of antigen. The animals of 3 groups received local x-ray irradiation of 600 rads for 8 minutes to the right knee joint 12 days after the intra-articular challenge. Animals of the other 3 groups were not irradiated. The antigen-induced arthritis was investigated by determining the exudation is synovial fluid and by histological study of the synovium examined 48 hours, 7 days, and 4 weeks after the irradiation date. All animals in the nonirradiated groups showed a distinct chronic synovitis. Irradiated animals showed almost no synovitis 48 hours and 7 days following irradiation. In 2 rabbits synovitis had reappeared 4 weeks after irradiation with findings similar to those in the control groups. Only one animal still showed an inhibition of synovitis. X-ray irradiation of non-challenged knees did not induce any pathological changes. This time-limited effect of one local irradiation on antigen-induced arthritis seems to be mainly an anti-inflammatory action. Local immunological inhibition might possibly operate too. X-ray induced inhibition of synovitis is compared with the effect of locally injected radiocolloids.
Images
PMCID: PMC1001036  PMID: 7125721
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(4):R825-R836.
The disease category of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been limited with respect to clinical criteria. Pathological manifestations of synovitis in patients whose disease is clinically classified as early RA seem to be heterogeneous, with regular variations. To clarify the relation between the molecular and histopathological features of the synovitis, we analyzed gene-expression profiles in the synovial lining tissues to correlate them with histopathological features. Synovial tissues were obtained from knee joints of 12 patients with early RA by targeted biopsy under arthroscopy. Surgical specimens of long-standing RA (from four patients) were examined as positive controls. Each histopathological parameter characteristic of rheumatoid synovitis in synovial tissues was scored under light microscopy. Total RNAs from synovial lining tissues were obtained from the specimens selected by laser capture microdissection and the mRNAs were amplified by bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase. Their cDNAs were analyzed in a cDNA microarray with 23,040 cDNAs, and the levels of gene expression in multilayered lining tissues, compared with those of normal-like lining tissues in specimens from the same person, were determined to estimate gene-expression profiles characteristic of the synovial proliferative lesions in each case. Based on cluster analysis of all cases, gene-expression profiles in the lesions in early RA fell into two groups. The groups had different expression levels of genes critical for proliferative inflammation, including those encoding cytokines, adhesion molecules, and extracellular matrices. One group resembled synovitis in long-standing RA and had high scores for some histopathological features – involving accumulations of lymphocytes and plasma cells – but not for other features. Possible differences in the histopathogenesis and prognosis of synovitis between the two groups are discussed in relation to the candidate genes and histopathology.
doi:10.1186/ar1751
PMCID: PMC1175033  PMID: 15987484
We demonstrated previously that local, intra-articular injection of an adenoviral vector expressing human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in a rabbit knee model of inflammatory arthritis stimulated synovial apoptosis and reduced inflammation. To examine whether intra-articular injection of recombinant chimeric human TRAIL protein (rTRAIL) also induces apoptosis of proliferating rabbit synovium and reduces inflammation, we used an experimental rabbit arthritis model of rheumatoid arthritis, induced by intra-articular introduction of allogeneic fibroblasts genetically engineered to secrete human IL-1β. Analysis of synovium isolated from the rabbits treated with intra-articular injection of rTRAIL, relative to saline control, showed areas of extensive acellular debris and large fibrous regions devoid of intact cells, similar to adenoviral mediated TRAIL gene transfer. Extensive apoptosis of the synovial lining was demonstrated using TUNEL analysis of the sections, corresponding to the microscopic findings in hematoxylin and eosin staining. In addition, leukocyte infiltration into the synovial fluid of the inflamed knee joints following rTRAIL treatment was reduced more than 50% compared with the saline control. Analysis of the glycosaminoglycan synthetic rate by cultured cartilage using radiolabeled sulfur and cartilage histology demonstrated that rTRAIL did not adversely affect cartilage metabolism and structure. Analysis of serum alanine aminotransferase showed that intra-articular injection of rTRAIL did not have adverse effects on hepatic function. These results demonstrate that intra-articular injection of rTRAIL could be therapeutic for treating pathologies associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar1867
PMCID: PMC1526576  PMID: 16507116
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1995;54(5):366-374.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the role of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) in the development of antigen induced arthritis (AIA) in rabbits. METHODS--Monoclonal antibodies to rabbit TNF alpha were developed in rats and were used to detect TNF alpha in synovial fluid by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and to localise it in tissue sections of synovium and cartilage from rabbits up to 21 days after induction of AIA. An antibody which neutralised TNF alpha activity in vitro was injected into rabbits to block TNF alpha action in vivo in AIA. Joint swelling, leucocyte infiltration into synovium and proteoglycan loss from cartilage were measured and compared with a control group, which were injected with sterile saline. RESULTS--Monoclonal antibodies to purified rabbit TNF alpha were prepared in rats and two were selected which were able to neutralise rabbit TNF alpha in a cytotoxicity bioassay. TNF alpha was detected in significant concentrations (21.7 (SE 0.5) pg/ml) in the arthritic joint fluid of rabbits with AIA only at one day after induction and it was then also sparsely localised in cells of the synovium, but from day 3 onwards it was localised more strongly in the deep zone of articular cartilage. Injection of anti-TNF monoclonal antibody R6 over three days into rabbits with AIA reduced joint swelling and leucocyte infiltration into joint fluid and decreased the expression of CD11b and CD18 on cells in the joint fluid. However, there was no significant reduction in the loss of proteoglycan from articular cartilage, although the joint fluid at three days contained a lower glycosaminoglycan content. The antibody R6 gave most effect at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg and there was no increase in its effectiveness at a fivefold greater dose (3.0 mg/kg). Treatment over 10 days gave a more complete suppression of joint swelling, but did not result in any less proteoglycan loss from cartilage. Treatment for five days with a 16 day follow up gave a significant reduction in swelling for several days beyond the treatment, but the swelling then slowly returned, until by day 21 there was no significant difference in joint swelling and there was also no recovery of cartilage proteoglycan content. A rabbit anti-rat immunoglobulin response was detected at 21 days, which may have limited the long term effectiveness of the antibody. CONCLUSIONS--In AIA in rabbits, TNF alpha was only detected in synovial fluid at one day after induction and there was only limited cellular localisation of TNF alpha in synovium and cartilage from three days. However, neutralising TNF alpha with a monoclonal antibody was effective in suppressing inflammatory changes in the joint during the acute onset of AIA, but it had little effect on the loss of proteoglycan from cartilage. The results suggest that blocking inflammation and synovitis with anti-TNF alpha may be more easily achieved than preventing damage to articular cartilage.
Images
PMCID: PMC1005596  PMID: 7794042
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1995;54(7):591-596.
OBJECTIVE--To determine if the administration of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) to animals with established antigen induced arthritis had any beneficial effects on the synovitis and cartilage destruction. METHODS--Antigen induced arthritis was induced in New Zealand White rabbits, and after two weeks IL-1ra was administered every six hours over a 72 hour period. Animals were then killed and joint tissues examined for the degree of synovitis, synovial fibrosis, and cartilage damage. RESULTS--The response of the arthritis to the treatment was minor in terms of joint swelling, leucocyte accumulation, or cartilage proteoglycan loss. However, the synovial fibrosis was not only halted by administration of IL-1ra, but reversed. The inflamed synovial linings of IL-1ra treated animals showed a significant loss of synovial collagen content and a reappearance of the synovial fat spaces which are prominent in the normal synovial lining. CONCLUSION--This study shows that IL-1ra has potent antifibrotic activity and suggests the use of this agent for the reversal of the fibroproliferative process which is so important in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis.
Images
PMCID: PMC1009941  PMID: 7668904
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1997;56(12):751-753.
OBJECTIVE—To investigate the development of chronic joint symptoms in patients presenting with acute oligoarthritis including knee joint synovitis with effusion and explore whether prognostic information can be derived from initial synovial fluid concentrations of aggrecan and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) for development of chronic joint symptoms.
METHODS—Retrospective follow up of 25 patients identified in a bank of knee joint synovial fluids collected consecutively from patients presenting with knee joint synovitis and symptoms from at most three additional joints and in whom no diagnosis could be established at presentation.
RESULTS—The 10 patients who developed chronic joint symptoms were characterised by lower knee joint synovial fluid concentrations of aggrecan as well as lower aggrecan/COMP ratios (p<0.001) than the 15 patients who had a transient arthritis. No other clinical or laboratory differences between the groups were apparent at the time of presentation.
CONCLUSIONS—The synovial fluid content of aggrecan is a potential tool in acute arthritis for distinguishing patients with a benign disease course from those who will develop a chronic joint disorder.


PMCID: PMC1752303  PMID: 9496157
Background
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis in children causes alterations in craniomandibular growth. This abnormal growth may be prevented by an early anti-inflammatory intervention. We have previously shown that intra-articular (IA) corticosteroid reduces TMJ inflammation, but causes concurrent mandibular growth inhibition in young rabbits. Blockage of TNF-α has already proven its efficacy in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis not responding to standard therapy. In this paper we evaluate the effect of IA etanercept compared to subcutaneous etanercept in antigen-induced TMJ-arthritis in rabbits on histological changes using histomorphometry and stereology. This article presents the data and discussion on the anti-inflammatory effects of systemic and IA etanercept. In Part II the data on the effects of systemic and IA etanercept on facial growth are presented.
Methods
Forty-two rabbits (10 weeks old) pre-sensitized with ovalbumin and locally induced inflammation in the temporomandibular joints were divided into three groups: a placebo group receiving IA saline injections in both joints one week after arthritis induction (n = 14), an IA etanercept group receiving 0.1 mg/kg etanercept per joint one week after arthritis induction (n = 14) and a systemic etanercept group receiving 0.8 mg/kg etanercept weekly throughout the 12-week study (n = 14). Arthritis was maintained by giving four inductions three weeks apart. Additional IA saline or etanercept injections were also given one week after the re-inductions. Histomorphometric and unbiased stereological methods (optical fractionator) were used to assess and estimate the inflammation in the joints.
Results
The histomorphometry showed synovial proliferation in all groups. The plasma cell count obtained by the optical fractionator was significantly reduced when treating with systemic etanercept but not with IA etanercept. Semi-quantitative assessments of synovial proliferation and subsynovial inflammation also showed reduced inflammation in the systemic etanercept group. However, the thickness of the synovial lining and volume of the subsynovial connective tissue showed no differences between the groups.
Conclusion
An anti-inflammatory effect of systemic etanercept on the synovial tissues in the temporomandibular joint was shown. However, IA etanercept at the given dose had no significant effect on the severity of chronic inflammation on the parameters here tested in ovalbumin antigen-induced arthritis.
doi:10.1186/1546-0096-7-5
PMCID: PMC2649127  PMID: 19200377

Results 1-25 (902132)