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1.  Modeling Corticosteroid Effects in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis II: Mechanistic Pharmacodynamic Model for Dexamethasone Effects in Lewis Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
A mechanism-based model for pharmacodynamic effects of dexamethasone (DEX) was incorporated into our model for arthritis disease progression in the rat to aid in identification of the primary factors responsible for edema and bone loss. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was produced in male Lewis rats following injection of type II porcine collagen. DEX was given subcutaneously in single doses of 0.225 or 2.25 mg/kg or 7-day multiple doses of 0.045 or 0.225 mg/kg at 21 days post disease induction. Effects on disease progression were measured by paw swelling, bone mineral density (BMD), body weights, plasma corticosterone (CST), and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and GR mRNA expression in paw tissue. Lumbar and femur BMD was determined by PIXImus-II dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Plasma CST was assayed by HPLC. Cytokine and GR mRNA were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR. Indirect response models, drug-interaction models, transduction processes, and the 5th-generation model of corticosteroid dynamics were integrated and applied using S-ADAPT software to describe how dexamethasone binding to GR can regulate diverse processes. Cytokine mRNA, GR mRNA, plasma CST, and paw edema were suppressed following DEX administration. TNF-α mRNA expression and BMD appeared to increase immediately after dosing but were ultimately reduced. Model parameters indicated that IL-6 and IL-1β were most sensitive to inhibition by DEX. TNF-α appeared to primarily influence edema while IL-6 contributed the most to bone loss. Lower doses of corticosteroids may be sufficient to suppress the cytokines most relevant to bone erosion.
doi:10.1124/jpet.108.137414
PMCID: PMC2574741  PMID: 18448864
2.  RANKL inhibition by osteoprotegerin prevents bone loss without affecting local or systemic inflammation parameters in two rat arthritis models: comparison with anti-TNFα or anti-IL-1 therapies 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(6):R187.
Introduction
Rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) feature bone loss and systemic increases in TNFα, IL-1β, and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Anti-IL-1 or anti-TNFα therapies consistently reduce inflammation in these models, but systemic bone loss often persists. RANKL inhibition consistently prevents bone loss in both models without reducing joint inflammation. Effects of these therapies on systemic markers of bone turnover and inflammation have not been directly compared.
Methods
Lewis rats with established AIA or CIA were treated for 10 days (from day 4 post onset) with either PBS (Veh), TNFα inhibitor (pegsunercept), IL-1 inhibitor (anakinra), or RANKL inhibitor (osteoprotegerin (OPG)-Fc). Local inflammation was evaluated by monitoring hind paw swelling. Bone mineral density (BMD) of paws and lumbar vertebrae was assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Markers and mediators of bone resorption (RANKL, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP 5B)) and inflammation (prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), acute-phase protein alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (α1AGP), multiple cytokines) were measured in serum (day 14 post onset).
Results
Arthritis progression significantly increased paw swelling and ankle and vertebral BMD loss. Anti-TNFα reduced paw swelling in both models, and reduced ankle BMD loss in AIA rats. Anti-IL-1 decreased paw swelling in CIA rats, and reduced ankle BMD loss in both models. Anti-TNFα and anti-IL-1 failed to prevent vertebral BMD loss in either model. OPG-Fc reduced BMD loss in ankles and vertebrae in both models, but had no effect on paw swelling. Serum RANKL was elevated in AIA-Veh and CIA-Veh rats. While antiTNFα and anti-IL-1 partially normalized serum RANKL without any changes in serum TRACP 5B, OPG-Fc treatment reduced serum TRACP 5B by over 90% in both CIA and AIA rats. CIA-Veh and AIA-Veh rats had increased serum α1AGP, IL-1β, IL-8 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), and AIA-Veh rats also had significantly greater serum PGE2, TNFα and IL-17. Anti-TNFα reduced systemic α1AGP, CCL2 and PGE2 in AIA rats, while anti-IL-1 decreased systemic α1AGP, IL-8 and PGE2. In contrast, RANKL inhibition by OPG-Fc did not lessen systemic cytokine levels in either model.
Conclusions
Anti-TNFα or anti-IL-1 therapy inhibited parameters of local and systemic inflammation, and partially reduced local but not systemic bone loss in AIA and CIA rats. RANKL inhibition prevented local and systemic bone loss without significantly inhibiting local or systemic inflammatory parameters.
doi:10.1186/ar2879
PMCID: PMC3003514  PMID: 20003323
3.  Gene therapy for established murine collagen-induced arthritis by local and systemic adenovirus-mediated delivery of interleukin-4 
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
4.  Modeling Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics of Abatacept and Disease Progression in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Rats - A Population Approach 
The PK / PD of abatacept, a selective T-cell co-stimulation modulator, was examined in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) using a nonlinear mixed effect modeling approach. Male Lewis rats underwent collagen induction to produce rheumatoid arthritis. Two single-dose groups received either 10 mg/kg intravenous (IV) or 20 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) abatacept, and one multiple-dose group received one 20 mg/kg SC abatacept dose and four additional 10 mg/kg SC doses. Effects on disease progression (DIS) were measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of abatacept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The PK / PD data were sequentially fitted using NONMEM VI. Goodness-of-fit was assessed by objective functions and visual inspection of diagnostic plots. The PK of abatacept followed a two-compartment model with linear elimination. For SC doses, short-term zero-order absorption was assumed with F = 59.2 %. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) that was inhibited by abatacept. Variation in the PK data could be explained by inter-individual variability in clearance (CL) and central compartment volume (V1), while the large variability of the PD data may be the result of paw edema production (kin0) and loss rate constant (kout). Abatacept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK / PD profiles were well described by the proposed model and allowed evaluation of inter-individual variability on drug- and DIS-related parameters.
doi:10.1007/s10928-013-9341-1
PMCID: PMC3947259  PMID: 24233383
Abatacept; arthritis; model; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
5.  Apoptosis and p53 expression in rat adjuvant arthritis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(3):229-235.
The kinetics of apoptosis and the apoptosis-regulating gene p53 in adjuvant arthritis (AA) were investigated to assess the value of the AA rat model for testing apoptosis-inducing therapies. Very few terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) nick end-labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells were detected during the early phases of AA, but on day 23 (chronic arthritis) the percentage of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly increased. Expression of p53 in synovial tissue gradually increased from days 5-23, which was markedly higher than p53 levels in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium. Significant apoptosis only occurs late in rat AA and is concordant with marked p53 overexpression, making it useful model for testing proapoptotic therapies, but rat AA is not the best model for p53 gene therapy because dramatic p53 overexpression occurs in the latter stages of the disease.
Introduction:
RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is characterized by inflammation and proliferation of synovial tissue. The amount of DNA fragmentation is significantly increased in rheumatoid synovium. Only low numbers of apoptotic cells are present in rheumatoid synovial tissue, however. The proportion of cells with DNA strand breaks is so great that this disparity suggests impaired apoptosis. Therefore, the development of novel therapeutic strategies that are aimed at inducing apoptosis in rheumatoid synovial tissue is an attractive goal.
Although animal models for arthritis only approximate RA, they provide a useful test system for the evaluation of apoptosis-inducing therapies. AA in rats is among the most commonly used animal models for RA. For the interpretation of such studies, it is essential to characterize the extent to which apoptosis occurs during the natural course of the disease. Therefore, we evaluated the number of apoptotic cells and the expression of p53 in various phases of AA.
Materials and methods:
In order to generate the AA rat model, Lewis rats were immunized with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mineral oil on day 0. Paw swelling usually started around day 10. For the temporal analysis rats were sacrificed on days 0, 5 (prearthritis), 11 (onset of arthritis), 17 (accelerating arthritis), or 23 (chronic arthritis).
For the detection of apoptotic cells, the hind paws were harvested on days 0(n=6),5 (n=6), 11 (n=6), 17 (n=6), or 23 (n=4). The right ankle joints were fixed in formalin, decalcified in ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned. The TUNEL method was applied. The percentage of TUNEL-positive cells of the total inflammatory cell infiltrate was noted.
For Western blot analysis, hind paws were harvested on days 0 (n=2), 5 (n=3), 11 (n=4), 17 (n=4), or 23 (n=4). In addition, hind paws of normal rats (n=2) were studied. The right ankle joints were snap frozen and pulverized. Synovial tissue was also obtained by arthroscopy of three patients with longstanding (>5 years) RA. After protein extraction in lysis buffer, equal amounts of protein samples from lysates were pooled and examined by Western bolt analysis using anti-p53 monoclonal antibody D07, which recognizes wild-type and mutant p53 from rodents and humans.
For immunohistochemical analysis, six rats were sacrificed on day 23 after immunization and synovial tissue of the right ankle joints was snap frozen and evaluated by immunohistochemistry using anti-p53-pan. The sections were evaluated semi-quantitatively using a 0-4 scale.
The kruskal-Wallis test for several group means was used to compare the percentage of TUNEL-positive cells at different time points.
Results:
The percentages of TUNEL-positive cells were strongly dependent on the stage of the disease. Very few TUNEL-positive cells were detected in normal rats or in the early phases of AA; the number of TUNEL-positive cells was 1% or less of the total cell infiltrate, including neutrophils, from days 0-17 (Table 1). On day 23, however, the percentage of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly increased [15.8±5.1% (mean ± standard error of the mean); P=0.01]. TUNEL-positive cells were observed in the intimal lining layer and synovial sublining of the invasive front, as well as in the articular cartilage (Fig. 1).
Subsequently, we examined expression of the tumor suppressor gene p53, because this is a key regulator of apoptosis. Expression of p53 in pooled rat AA joint extracts gradually increased from day 0 (6 arbitrary units) to day 23 (173 arbitrary units), which was markedly higher than p53 levels in RA synovium (32 arbitrary units; Table 1). Overexpression of p53 protein on day 23 was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in a separate experiment in six rats with AA. Overexpression of p53 was observed in the intimal lining layer and synovial sublining in all rats on day 23. In all cases a semiquantitative score of 4 was assigned, indicating that 51% or more of the cells were positive, whereas control sections were negative.
Discussion:
The results presented here reveal that the number of TUNEL-positive cells remained very low until chronic arthritis developed. This indicates that, although there was sufficient DNA damage to cause an increment in p53 expression in the early phases, DNA strand breaks that can be detected by TUNEL assays only occurred in chronic AA. The observation that TUNEL-positive cells were nearly absent in early AA clearly indicates that only very few cells were undergoing programmed cell death. This is an important observation, which makes it possible to study the effects of apoptosis-inducing therapies in situ in early and accelerating AA. An effective therapy would obviously increase the number of TUNEL-positive cells.
There is already some overexpression of p53 in the preclinical phase and during the onset of the arthritis, with an additional increment in p53 expression during accelerating and chronic arthritis. Presumably, this is wild-type p53, because the disease duration is likely too short to allow for the development of p53 mutations. Transcription of p53 is probably increased in response to the toxic environment of the inflamed joint. The increased expression of p53 in the joints of rats with chronic AA was even greater than that observed in synovial tissue of RA patients with long-standing disease.
Overexpression of p53 and increased numbers of apoptotic cells did not occur simultaneously in this model; rather p53 overexpression preceded increased apoptosis. Activation of p53 leads to induction of cell growth arrest, allowing time for DNA repair. It appears that DNA damage is only extensive enough to induce apoptosis in the latter stages of AA. Factors other than p53 may also play an important role in the actual induction of apoptosis
Taken together, significant apoptosis only occurs late in AA and it follows marked p53 overexpression, making it a useful model for testing proapoptotic therapies. AA is not the best model for p53 gene therapy, however, because dramatic p53 overexpression occurs in the latter stages of the disease.
PMCID: PMC17810  PMID: 11056668
adjuvant arthritis; apoptosis; p53; rheumatoid arthritis
6.  Gene expression profiling and functional analysis of angiogenic markers in murine collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(4):R169.
Introduction
Dysregulated angiogenesis is implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To provide a more profound understanding of arthritis-associated angiogenesis, we evaluated the expression of angiogenesis-modulating genes at onset, peak and declining phases of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a well-established mouse model for RA.
Methods
CIA was induced in DBA/1 mice with type II collagen. Functional capillary density in synovial tissue of knee joints was determined by intravital fluorescence microscopy. To assess the ability of arthritic joint homogenates to induce angiogenesis, an endothelial chemotaxis assay and an in vivo matrigel plug assay were employed. The temporal expression profile of angiogenesis-related genes in arthritic paws was analysed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR using an angiogenesis focused array as well as gene specific PCR. Finally, we investigated the therapeutic effect of a monoclonal antibody specifically blocking the binding of VEGF to neuropilin (NRP)-1.
Results
Although arthritic paw homogenates displayed angiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo, and synovia of arthritic paws appeared highly vascularised on histological examination, the functional capillary density in arthritic knee synovia was significantly decreased, whereas capillary diameter was increased. Of the 84 genes analysed, 41 displayed a differential expression in arthritic paws as compared to control paws. Most significant alterations were seen at the peak of clinical arthritis. Increased mRNA expression could be observed for VEGF receptors (Flt-1, Flk-1, Nrp-1, Nrp-2), as well as for midkine, hepatocyte growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-1 and angiopoietin-1. Signalling through NRP-1 accounted in part for the chemotactic activity for endothelial cells observed in arthritic paw homogenates. Importantly, therapeutic administration of anti-NRP1B antibody significantly reduced disease severity and progression in CIA mice.
Conclusions
Our findings confirm that the arthritic synovium in murine CIA is a site of active angiogenesis, but an altered balance in the expression of angiogenic factors seems to favour the formation of non-functional and dilated capillaries. Furthermore, our results validate NRP-1 as a key player in the pathogenesis of CIA, and support the VEGF/VEGF receptor pathway as a potential therapeutic target in RA.
doi:10.1186/ar3922
PMCID: PMC3580563  PMID: 22817681
7.  Population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression model for effects of anakinra in Lewis rats with collagen-induced arthritis 
A population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model was developed to characterize the effects of anakinra in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and explore the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in rheumatoid arthritis. The CIA rats received either vehicle, or anakinra at 100 mg/kg for about 33 h, 100 mg/kg for about 188 h, or 10 mg/kg for about 188 h by subcutaneous infusion. Plasma concentrations of anakinra were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Swelling of rat hind paws was measured. Population PK/PD/DIS parameters were computed for the various groups using non-linear mixed-effects modeling software (NONMEM® Version VI). The final model was assessed using visual predictive checks and nonparameter stratified bootstrapping. A two-compartment PK model with two sequential absorption processes and linear elimination was used to capture PK profiles of anakinra. A transduction-based feedback model incorporating logistic growth rate captured disease progression and indirect response model I captured drug effects. The PK and paw swelling versus time profiles in CIA rats were fitted well. Anakinra has modest effects (Imax = 0.28) on paw edema in CIA rats. The profiles are well-described by our PK/PD/DIS model which provides a basis for future mechanism-based assessment of anakinra dynamics in rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1007/s10928-011-9219-z
PMCID: PMC3407879  PMID: 22002845
Anakinra; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Rheumatoid arthritis; Population model
8.  Quantitative Dynamic Models of Arthritis Progression in the Rat 
Pharmaceutical research  2008;26(1):196-203.
Purpose
This comparison employs mathematical disease progression models to identify a rat model of arthritis with the least inter-animal variability and features lending to better study designs.
Methods
Arthritis was induced with either collagen (CIA) or mycobacterium (AIA) in either Lewis or Dark Agouti (DA) rats. Disease progression was monitored by paw edema and body weight. Models with production, loss, and feedback components were constructed and population analysis using NONMEM software was employed to identify inter-animal variability in the various disease progression parameters.
Results
Onset time was the only parameter different within all four groups (DA–AIA 11.5 days, DA–CIA 16.5 days, Lewis–AIA 11.9 days, Lewis–CIA 13.9 days). The loss-of-edema rate constant was 20% slower in DA (0.362 h−1) than Lewis (0.466 h−1) rats. Most models exhibited peak paw edema 20 days post-induction. Edema in CIA returned to 150% of the initial value after the disease peaked. DA rats displayed more severe overall responses.
Conclusions
No statistical differences between groups were observed for inter-animal variation in disease onset, progression and severity parameters. Onset time varies and should be noted in the design of future studies. DA rats may offer a more dynamic range of edema response than Lewis rats.
doi:10.1007/s11095-008-9711-3
PMCID: PMC3725549  PMID: 18758921
arthritis; disease; model; progression; rat
9.  Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Disease Progression Model for Effect of Etanercept in Lewis Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
Pharmaceutical research  2011;28(7):1622-1630.
Purpose
To develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model to characterize the effect of etanercept in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression.
Methods
The CIA rats received either 5 mg/kg intravenous (IV), 1 mg/kg IV, or 5 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) etanercept at day 21 post-disease induction. Effect on disease progression was measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of etanercept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). PK profiles were fitted first; parameter estimates were applied to fit paw edema data for PD and DIS-related parameter estimation using ADAPT 5 software.
Results
The model contained a two-compartment PK model with Michaelis-Menten elimination. For SC administration, two additional mathematical functions for absorption were added. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) assumed to be inhibited by etanercept.
Conclusions
Etanercept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK and PD profiles were well described by the developed PK/PD/DIS model, which may be used for other anti-cytokine biologic agents for RA.
doi:10.1007/s11095-011-0396-7
PMCID: PMC3726066  PMID: 21360252
arthritis; etanercept; model; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics
10.  Porphyromonas gingivalis oral infection exacerbates the development and severity of collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R186.
Introduction
Clinical studies suggest a direct influence of periodontal disease (PD) on serum inflammatory markers and disease assessment of patients with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the influence of PD on arthritis development remains unclear. This investigation was undertaken to determine the contribution of chronic PD to immune activation and development of joint inflammation using the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model.
Methods
DBA1/J mice orally infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis were administered with collagen II (CII) emulsified in complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) or incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA) to induce arthritis. Arthritis development was assessed by visual scoring of paw swelling, caliper measurement of the paws, mRNA expression, paw micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis, histology, and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase for osteoclast detection (TRAP)-positive immunohistochemistry. Serum and reactivated splenocytes were evaluated for cytokine expression.
Results
Mice induced for PD and/or arthritis developed periodontal disease, shown by decreased alveolar bone and alteration of mRNA expression in gingival tissues and submandibular lymph nodes compared to vehicle. P. gingivalis oral infection increased paw swelling and osteoclast numbers in mice immunized with CFA/CII. Arthritis incidence and severity were increased by P. gingivalis in mice that received IFA/CII immunizations. Increased synovitis, bone erosions, and osteoclast numbers in the paws were observed following IFA/CII immunizations in mice infected with P gingivalis. Furthermore, cytokine analysis showed a trend toward increased serum Th17/Th1 ratios when P. gingivalis infection was present in mice receiving either CFA/CII or IFA/CII immunizations. Significant cytokine increases induced by P. gingivalis oral infection were mostly associated to Th17-related cytokines of reactivated splenic cells, including IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-22 in the CFA/CII group and IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β, IL-6 and IL-23 in the IFA/CII group.
Conclusions
Chronic P. gingivalis oral infection prior to arthritis induction increases the immune system activation favoring Th17 cell responses, and ultimately accelerating arthritis development. These results suggest that chronic oral infection may influence RA development mainly through activation of Th17-related pathways.
doi:10.1186/ar4376
PMCID: PMC3979094  PMID: 24456966
11.  Enhanced expression of genes involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis in murine arthritis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(6):504-512.
We have analyzed the pattern of procoagulant and fibrinolytic gene expression in affected joints during the course of arthritis in two murine models. In both models, we found an increased expression of tissue factor, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, urokinase plasminogen activator, and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, as well as thrombin receptor. The observed pattern of gene expression tended to favor procoagulant activity, and this pattern was confirmed by functional assays. These alterations would account for persistence of fibrin within the inflamed joint, as is seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Introduction:
Accumulation of fibrin in the joints remains one of the most striking histopathological features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, we have provided evidence of the deleterious role of synovial fibrin deposition in arthritic joints in antigen-induced arthritis (AIA), a well-established murine model of RA.
A local imbalance between fibrin formation and fibrin dissolution may result in fibrin deposition in the joints.
On the one hand, fibrin formation is mainly initiated by tissue factor (TF), a transmembrane protein serving as a receptor for factor VII. Under normal conditions, TF expression and activity are tightly regulated. Constitutive TF expression is restricted to perivascular and epithelial cells, and the catalytic activity of the TF/VIIa complex can be inhibited by tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI). Pathological conditions can perturb the cell-type-restricted pattern of TF expression. In particular, recent reports have shown that transcriptional activation of TF can be mediated by molecular mechanisms involving induction of the early growth response gene 1 (EGR1) or of the protease-activated receptor (PAR1) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) genes.
On the other hand, fibrin degradation is mediated primarily by plasmin, which is the active form of the zymogen plasminogen. Conversion of plasminogen to plasmin is under the control of serine protease plasminogen activators, such as the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), and their inhibitors, such as the plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1).
Aims:
We hypothesized that the deposition of fibrin in the joints may result from an imbalance in the local expression of key genes involved in coagulation and fibrinolytic pathways. To test this hypothesis, we investigated mRNA levels in arthritic versus nonarthritic joint tissues from two murine models of RA: AIA and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Genes that are directly implicated in coagulation (TF, TFPI) and fibrinolysis (UPA, PAI1), and other genes that may influence the expression of TF (EGR1, PAR1, VEGF), were investigated using a novel multiprobe RNase protection assay (RPA). Furthermore, we evaluated coagulation activity in arthritic and nonarthritic mice.
Methods:
Mice with AIA or CIA were sacrificed at different time points: 2, 4, and 16 h and 3, 7, and 14 d after intra-articular antigen injection for AIA; 42 d after the first immunization for CIA. Total RNA was prepared from arthritic and nonarthritic knees for AIA, or arthritic and nonarthritic hind paws for CIA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of the genes described above were determined by RPA and normalized to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNA levels. Coagulation assays were performed on joint tissue extracts and concentrations of thrombin-antithrombin III (TAT) complex were measured in plasma.
Results:
In AIA, all the genes studied except VEGF were upmodulated as early as 2 h. PAR1, TFPI, EGR1, and UPA expression decreased to control levels by 16 h, whereas the expression of TF and PAI1 remained elevated. At later times, only TF, PAI1, and UPA showed sustained overexpression. In CIA, gene expression was assayed at only one time point (42 d after immunization) and all genes showed higher mRNA levels in the affected paws than in control paws. In AIA mice, procoagulant activity and TF activity were significantly increased in arthritic joints, and in CIA mice, plasma TAT levels were significantly enhanced.
Discussion:
Fibrin deposition in synovia is prominent in both RA and experimental arthritis, suggesting that this protein may play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation. In this study, we have tried to shed some light on the molecular mechanisms leading to extravascular fibrin deposition, using two well-established mouse models of RA: AIA and CIA. The kinetics of gene expression was first analyzed in mice with AIA, because this model allows for an accurate, temporally controlled sampling of synovial inflammation. We then extended our observations by analyzing one time point in CIA, 42 d after immunization, when chronic inflammation is present. We found that in both models, coagulation and fibrinolysis in arthritic joints were significantly increased, and that the most significant increases were in TF and PAI-1.
Although the molecular mechanism or mechanisms responsible for the transcriptional changes observed are not completely understood, the increases in TF, PAI-1, and uPA are probably due to the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and TGF-α. These cytokines, whose presence in the inflamed synovium is well documented, are known to induce these genes through the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), a transcription factor. TF induction is also under the control of a proximal enhancer containing a binding site for the inducible transcription factor EGR1. Indeed, the early rise of EGR1 expression in AIA is consistent with its classification as immediate-early gene and may be responsible for the induction of early expression of TF. Early TF stimulation in AIA can also be accounted for by the transient overexpression of PAR1. Contrary to what has been shown in RA, VEGF expression remained essentially unchanged throughout the progression of AIA, probably reflecting a peculiarity of this murine model.
The alteration of the patterns of gene expression was accompanied by increased functional coagulation activity, which was more marked in AIA than in CIA.
Conclusion:
Prominent fibrin deposition in two different animal models of RA – AIA and CIA – can be attributed to modulations in key regulatory genes for coagulation and fibrinolysis.
PMCID: PMC17822  PMID: 11056680
arthritis; coagulation; fibrinolysis; mice; RNase protection
12.  Osteoporosis in experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis: the relative contributions of estrogen deficiency and inflammation 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(4):R837-R843.
Generalized osteoporosis in postmenopausal rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused both by estrogen deficiency and by the inflammatory disease. The relative importance of each of these factors is unknown. The aim of this study was to establish a murine model of osteoporosis in postmenopausal RA, and to evaluate the relative importance and mechanisms of menopause and arthritis-related osteoporosis. To mimic postmenopausal RA, DBA/1 mice were ovariectomized, followed by the induction of type II collagen-induced arthritis. After the mice had been killed, paws were collected for histology, one femur for bone mineral density (BMD) and sera for analyses of markers of bone resorption (RatLaps; type I collagen cross-links, bone formation (osteocalcin) and cartilage destruction (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein), and for the evaluation of antigen-specific and innate immune responsiveness. Ovariectomized mice displayed more severe arthritis than sham-operated controls. At termination of the experiment, arthritic control mice and non-arthritic ovariectomized mice displayed trabecular bone losses of 26% and 22%, respectively. Ovariectomized mice with arthritis had as much as 58% decrease in trabecular BMD. Interestingly, cortical BMD was decreased by arthritis but was not affected by hormonal status. In addition, markers of bone resorption and cartilage destruction were increased in arthritic mice, whereas markers of bone formation were increased in ovariectomized mice. This study demonstrates that the loss of endogenous estrogen and inflammation contribute additively and equally to osteoporosis in experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis. Markers of bone remodeling and bone marrow lymphocyte phenotypes indicate different mechanisms for the development of osteoporosis caused by ovariectomy and arthritis in this model.
doi:10.1186/ar1753
PMCID: PMC1175035  PMID: 15987485
13.  Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicities of methotrexate in healthy and collagen-induced arthritic rats 
Biopharmaceutics & drug disposition  2013;34(4):10.1002/bdd.1838.
Methotrexate (MTX) is an anchor drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but responsiveness is variable in effectiveness and toxicity. Methotrexate and its polyglutamate conjugates (MTXPGn) in red blood cells (RBC) have been associated with patient response. In the current study, 13 collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and 12 healthy rats were given subcutaneous doses of either saline or 0.3 or 1.5 mg/kg per 2 days of MTX from day 21 to 43 post-induction. Blood samples were obtained at various times to measure MTX in plasma, and MTX and MTXPGn in RBC. Effects on disease progression were indicated by body weight and paw size. After multiple-doses, RBC MTX reached steady-state (82.4 nM) within 4 days. The MTXPG2 and MTXPG3 in RBC kept increasing until the end of the study attaining 12.5 and 17.7 nM. Significant weight loss was observed after dosing of 1.5 mg/kg/2 days, whereas moderate effectiveness was observed after dosing of 0.3 mg/kg/2 days. A pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic/disease (PK/PD/DIS) model with indirect mechanisms and transduction components incorporating plasma MTX, RBC MTX, and RBC MTXPGn concentrations, and paw size was developed using naïve data pooling and ADAPT 5. The PK/PD in CIA rats dosed at 0.3 mg/kg/2 days were captured well by our proposed model. MTX showed modest (Imaxd = 0.16) but sensitive (IC50d = 0.712 nM) effectiveness on paw edema. The higher dose produced toxicity. The proposed model offers improved understanding of MTX effects on rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1002/bdd.1838
PMCID: PMC3656137  PMID: 23456770
Methotrexate; rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
14.  Shuangtengbitong tincture treatment of collagen-induced arthritis via downregulation of the expression of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and NF-κB 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease and may lead to joint damage, synovial membrane destruction and cartilage and bone damage. RA is closely associated with increased expression of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nuclear transcription factor-κB (NF-κB). Therefore, inhibition of the expression of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and NF-κB is a promising strategy for the development of novel anti-RA therapies. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of shuangtengbitong tincture (STBT) on the expression of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and NF-κB in synovial tissues of rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). STBT as a clinical prescription created at Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) Affiliated People’s Hospital has been shown to be clinically effective in the treatment of RA. The model of Wistar rats with CIA was created using bovine type II collagen. The two treatment groups with CIA were administered STBT (1 ml per time) or Votalin (∼1 cm per time) for ∼1 month continuously. Following treatment, STBT suppressed paw swelling significantly (P<0.05) compared with the model group. STBT also improved pathological changes, STBT-treated rats showed a significant improvement in synovial hyperplasia, inflammatory infiltration, cartilage and bone destruction and other symptoms. The protein expression levels of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and NF-κB were markedly suppressed in synovial tissues of STBT-treated and Votalin-treated rats. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that STBT markedly reduces paw swelling, improves pathological changes and increases the expression of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and NF-κB in synovial tissues of CIA rats, which may partially explain the anti-RA activity of STBT.
doi:10.3892/etm.2012.853
PMCID: PMC3570159  PMID: 23403612
shuangtengbitong tincture; rheumatoid arthritis; interleukin-6; interleukin-8; tumor necrosis factor-α; nuclear transcription factor-κB
15.  Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 reverses inflammation and expression of COX-2 and interleukin 6 in rat adjuvant arthritis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(11):2672-2679.
Prostaglandins formed by the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes are important mediators of inflammation in arthritis. The contribution of the inducible COX-2 enzyme to inflammation in rat adjuvant arthritis was evaluated by characterization of COX-2 expression in normal and arthritic paws and by pharmacological inhibition of COX-2 activity. The injection of adjuvant induced a marked edema of the hind footpads with coincident local production of PGE2. PG production was associated with upregulation of COX-2 mRNA and protein in the affected paws. In contrast, the level of COX-1 mRNA was unaffected by adjuvant injection. TNF-alpha and IL-6 mRNAs were also increased in the inflamed paws as was IL-6 protein in the serum. Therapeutic administration of a selective COX-2 inhibitor, SC-58125, rapidly reversed paw edema and reduced the level of PGE2 in paw tissue to baseline. Interestingly, treatment with the COX-2 inhibitor also reduced the expression of COX-2 mRNA and protein in the paw. Serum IL-6 and paw IL-6 mRNA levels were also reduced to near normal levels by SC-58125. Furthermore, inhibition of COX-2 resulted in a reduction of the inflammatory cell infiltrate and decreased inflammation of the synovium. Notably, the antiinflammatory effects of SC-58125 were indistinguishable from the effects observed for indomethacin. These results suggest that COX-2 plays a prominent role in the inflammation associated with adjuvant arthritis and that COX-2 derived PGs upregulate COX-2 and IL-6 expression at inflammatory sites.
PMCID: PMC507355  PMID: 8647962
16.  T-614, a novel immunomodulator, attenuates joint inflammation and articular damage in collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(6):R136.
Introduction
T-614 is a novel oral antirheumatic agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Whether it has immunomodulatory or disease-modifying properties and its mechanism of action are largely undetermined.
Methods
Rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were treated with T-614 (5 and 20 mg/kg) daily. Animals receiving methotrexate (1 mg/kg every 3 days) and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent nimesulide (10 mg/kg per day) were used as controls. A combination therapy group was treated with both T-614(10 mg/kg per day) and methotrexate (1 mg/kg every 3 days). Hind paw swelling was evaluated and radiographic scores calculated. Serum cytokine levels were assessed by Bio-plex analysis. Quantitative PCR was used to evaluate expression of mRNA for interferon-γ, IL-4 and IL-17. Serum IL-17 and anti-type II collagen antibodies (total IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b and IgM) were measured using ELISA.
Results
Oral T-614 inhibited paw swelling and offered significant protection against arthritis-induced cartilage and bone erosion, comparable to the effects of methotrexate. CIA rats treated with T-614 exhibited decreases in both mRNA expression of IL-17 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and lymph node cells, and circulating IL-17 in a dose-dependent manner. T-614 also reduced serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β and IL-6. A synergistic effect was observed for the combination of methotrexate and T-614. In addition, T-614 (20 mg/kg per day) depressed production of anti-type II collagen antibodies and differentially affected levels of IgG2a subclasses in vivo, whereas IgM level was decreased without any change in the IgG1 level. Together, the findings presented here indicate that the novel agent T-614 has disease-modifying effects against experimental arthritis, as opposed to nimesulide.
Conclusions
Our data suggested that T-614 is an effective disease-modifying agent that can prevent bone/cartilage destruction and inflammation in in CIA rats. Combination with methotrexate markedly enhances the therapeutic effect of T-614.
doi:10.1186/ar2554
PMCID: PMC2656239  PMID: 19019215
17.  Role of endogenous and exogenous female sex hormones in arthritis and osteoporosis development in B10.Q-ncf1*/* mice with collagen-induced chronic arthritis 
Background
Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is an often-used murine model for human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Earlier studies have shown potent anti-arthritic effects with the female sex hormone estradiol and the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) raloxifene in CIA in DBA/1-mice. B10.Q-ncf1*/*mice are B10.Q mice with a mutated Ncf1 gene. In B10.Q-ncf1*/*mice, CIA develops as a chronic relapsing disease, which more accurately mimics human RA. We investigated the role of endogenous and exogenous sex steroids and raloxifene in the course of this model of chronic arthritis. We also examined whether treatment would prevent the development of inflammation-triggered generalized osteoporosis.
Methods
Female B10.Q-ncf1*/*mice were sham-operated or ovariectomized, and CIA was induced. 22 days later, when 30% of the mice had developed arthritis, treatment with raloxifene, estradiol or vehicle was started, and the clinical disease was evaluated continuously. Treatment was continued until day 56 after immunization. At termination of the experiment (day 73), bone mineral density (BMD) was analyzed, paws were collected for histological examination, and sera were analyzed for markers of cartilage turnover and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Results
Raloxifene and estradiol treatment, as well as endogenous estrogen, decreased the frequency of arthritis, prevented joint destruction and countered generalized osteoporosis. These effects were associated with lower serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6.
Conclusions
This is the first study to show that raloxifene and estradiol can ameliorate established erosive arthritis and inflammation-triggered osteoporosis in this chronic arthritis model. We propose that treatment with raloxifene could be a beneficial addition to the treatment of postmenopausal RA.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-284
PMCID: PMC3009959  PMID: 21159208
18.  Optical tomographic imaging discriminates between disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) and non-DMARD efficacy in collagen antibody-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(3):R105.
Introduction
Standard measurements used to assess murine models of rheumatoid arthritis, notably paw thickness and clinical score, do not align well with certain aspects of disease severity as assessed by histopathology. We tested the hypothesis that non-invasive optical tomographic imaging of molecular biomarkers of inflammation and bone turnover would provide a superior quantitative readout and would discriminate between a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) and a non-DMARD treatment.
Methods
Using two protease-activated near-infrared fluorescence imaging agents to detect inflammation-associated cathepsin and matrix metalloprotease activity, and a third agent to detect bone turnover, we quantified fluorescence in paws of mice with collagen antibody-induced arthritis. Fluorescence molecular tomographic (FMT) imaging results, which provided deep tissue detection and quantitative readouts in absolute picomoles of agent fluorescence per paw, were compared with paw swelling, clinical scores, a panel of plasma biomarkers, and histopathology to discriminate between steroid (prednisolone), DMARD (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor) and non-DMARD (celecoxib, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor) treatments.
Results
Paw thickness, clinical score, and plasma biomarkers failed to discriminate well between a p38 MAPK inhibitor and a COX-2 inhibitor. In contrast, FMT quantification using near-infrared agents to detect protease activity or bone resorption yielded a clear discrimination between the different classes of therapeutics. FMT results agreed well with inflammation scores, and both imaging and histopathology provided clearer discrimination between treatments as compared with paw swelling, clinical score, and serum biomarker readouts.
Conclusions
Non-invasive optical tomographic imaging offers a unique approach to monitoring disease pathogenesis and correlates with histopathology assessment of joint inflammation and bone resorption. The specific use of optical tomography allowed accurate three-dimensional imaging, quantitation in picomoles rather than intensity or relative fluorescence, and, for the first time, showed that non-invasive imaging assessment can predict the pathologist's histology inflammation scoring and discriminate DMARD from non-DMARD activity.
doi:10.1186/ar3038
PMCID: PMC2911895  PMID: 20509880
19.  Ameliorative Effects of a Polyphenolic Fraction of Cinnamomum zeylanicum L. Bark in Animal Models of Inflammation and Arthritis 
Scientia Pharmaceutica  2013;81(2):567-589.
Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Syn C. verum, family: Lauraceae) is one of the oldest traditional medicines for inflammatory- and pain-related disorders. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of the polyphenol fraction from Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark (CPP) in animal models of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. Dose-response studies of CPP (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) used in a separate set of in vivo experiments were conducted in acute (carrageenan-induced rat paw edema), subacute (cotton pellet-induced granuloma), and sub-chronic (AIA, adjuvant-induced established polyarthrtis) models of inflammation in rats and the acetic acid-induced writhing model of pain in mice. Effects of CPP on cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, and IFNγ) release from Concanavalin (ConA)-stimulated lymphocytes were also evaluated in vitro. CPP showed a strong and dose-dependent reduction in paw volume, weight loss reversal effects against carrageenan-induced paw edema, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma models in rats. CPP (200 mg/kg p.o. for 10 days) showed a significant reduction in elevated serum TNF-α concentration without causing gastric ulcerogenicity in the AIA model in rats. CPP also demonstrated mild analgesic effects during acute treatment as evidenced by the reduction in the writhing and paw withdrawal threshold of the inflamed rat paw during the acetic acid-induced writhing model and Randall-Selitto test. CPP was found to inhibit cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, and IFNγ) release from ConA-stimulated lymphocytes in vitro. In conclusion, CPP demonstrated prominent action in animal models of inflammation and arthritis and therefore can be considered as a potential anti-rheumatic agent with disease-modifying action.
doi:10.3797/scipharm.1301-16
PMCID: PMC3700084  PMID: 23833722
Cinnamon bark; Antiinflammatory; Rheumatoid arthritis
20.  Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Orally Administrated Denatured Naja Naja Atra Venom on Murine Rheumatoid Arthritis Models 
To investigate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the denatured Naja Naja atra venom (NNAV) in rheumatoid arthritis-associated models, the denatured NNAV (heat treated; 30, 90, 270 μg/kg), the native NNAV (untreated with heat; 90 μg/kg), and Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside (TWP, 15 mg/kg) were administrated orally either prophylactically or therapeutically. We measured time of licking the affected paw in formaldehyde-induced inflammatory model, paw volume in egg-white-induced inflammation, and granuloma weight in formalin-soaked filter paper-induced granuloma. For adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, paw edema, mechanical withdrawal threshold, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-10, and histopathological changes of the affected paw were assessed. We found that the denatured NNAV (90, 270 μg/kg) significantly reduced time of licking paw, paw volume, and granuloma weight in above inflammatory models and also attenuated paw edema, mechanical hyperalgesia, and histopathology changes in AIA rats. Additionally, the increase in serum TNF-α and the decrease in serum IL-10 in AIA rats were reversed by the denatured NNAV. Although the native NNAV and TWP rendered the similar pharmacological actions on the above four models with less potency than that of the denatured NNAV, these findings demonstrate that oral administration of the denatured NNAV produces antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities on rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1155/2013/616241
PMCID: PMC3619627  PMID: 23634171
21.  Regulation of Peripheral Inflammation by Spinal p38 MAP Kinase in Rats 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(9):e338.
Background
Somatic afferent input to the spinal cord from a peripheral inflammatory site can modulate the peripheral response. However, the intracellular signaling mechanisms in the spinal cord that regulate this linkage have not been defined. Previous studies suggest spinal cord p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and cytokines participate in nociceptive behavior. We therefore determined whether these pathways also regulate peripheral inflammation in rat adjuvant arthritis, which is a model of rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods and Findings
Selective blockade of spinal cord p38 MAP kinase by administering the p38 inhibitor SB203580 via intrathecal (IT) catheters in rats with adjuvant arthritis markedly suppressed paw swelling, inhibited synovial inflammation, and decreased radiographic evidence of joint destruction. The same dose of SB203580 delivered systemically had no effect, indicating that the effect was mediated by local concentrations in the neural compartment. Evaluation of articular gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR showed that spinal p38 inhibition markedly decreased synovial interleukin-1 and −6 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP3) gene expression. Activation of p38 required tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) in the nervous system because IT etanercept (a TNF inhibitor) given during adjuvant arthritis blocked spinal p38 phosphorylation and reduced clinical signs of adjuvant arthritis.
Conclusions
These data suggest that peripheral inflammation is sensed by the central nervous system (CNS), which subsequently activates stress-induced kinases in the spinal cord via a TNFα-dependent mechanism. Intracellular p38 MAP kinase signaling processes this information and profoundly modulates somatic inflammatory responses. Characterization of this mechanism could have clinical and basic research implications by supporting development of new treatments for arthritis and clarifying how the CNS regulates peripheral immune responses.
Inhibition of p38 MAP kinase in the CNS reduces peripheral inflammation and joint destruction in arthritic rats.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease marked by chronic inflammation, leading to joint pain and destruction. Pain and inflammation in the joints as well as other locations in the body (i.e., the “periphery”) are constantly monitored by the central nervous system (i.e., the brain and spinal cord). Scientists have long suspected that the central nervous system (CNS) can regulate inflammation and immune responses, but little is known about how the CNS does this. One potential player is a protein called p38 that is involved in a number of cellular processes critical to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Several substances that block the action of p38 are effective in animal models of arthritis and are currently being tested in clinical trials in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Originally, p38 was considered as a drug target that should mainly be blocked in the joints. But recent work has shown that pain in the periphery can lead to activation of p38 in the spinal cord, and that blocking p38 in the spinal cord might reduce peripheral pain.
Why Was This Study Done?
Based on the observation that p38 is activated in the CNS in response to peripheral pain, the researchers who did this study wondered whether it might be involved in the interaction between inflammation in the joints and the CNS.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
They induced inflammation in the joints of rats and then looked for responses in the spinal cord. They found that p38 was indeed activated in the spinal cord of these rats. This activation depended on another protein, called TNFα, which is another major regulator of inflammation. The scientists then blocked either p38 or the TNFα with drugs directly delivered to the spinal cord of the arthritic rats, they could substantially reduce inflammation, arthritis, and destruction of the joints, compared with rats that had undergone the same treatment but received no active drug. Treatment of arthritic rats with the same amount of drugs given directly under the skin (this is called “systemic treatment”) did not have any effect on the joints.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Blocking p38 and TNFα by giving drugs systemically is known to have beneficial effects in animal models and human patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, the drugs tested in patients to date also have side effects. Given that much lower doses were needed to achieve beneficial effects in the rats when the drugs were administered directly into the spinal cord, it is possible that spinal cord administration might reduce the side effects (and possibly the costs) of the drugs without compromising the benefits to the patients. If future studies confirm that the action of these drugs on the CNS is essential to achieve a response even when administered as a systemic treatment, designing drugs that get into the CNS easier might improve the effectiveness and/or make it possible to use lower doses systemically.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030338.
MedlinePlus entry on rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis pages from the US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Rheumatoid Arthritis fact sheet from the American College of Rheumatology Description
Wikipedia entry on rheumatoid arthritis (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030338
PMCID: PMC1560929  PMID: 16953659
22.  Suppression of complete Freund's adjuvant-induced adjuvant arthritis by cobratoxin 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(2):219-227.
Aim:
Cobratoxin (CTX), the long-chain α-neurotoxin from Thailand cobra venom, has been demonstrated to have analgesic action in rodent pain models. The present study evaluated the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects of CTX on adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rats.
Methods:
Arthritis was induced by injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in rats. Paw swelling and hyperalgesia of AA rats were measured at various times after CFA administration. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels in serum were determined with ELISA. Histopathological changes in synoviocytes were examined under a microscope. Involvement of the cholinergic system in the effects of CTX was examined by pretreatment of animals with the α7 nicotinic receptor (α7-nAChR) antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA).
Results:
CFA induced marked paw swelling and reduced thresholds of mechanical and cold-induced paw withdrawal. The levels of TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-2 in the serum of AA rats were increased, whereas the level of IL-10 was decreased. Histopathological examination of synoviocytes showed pronounced inflammation and accumulation of collagen. The administration of CTX (17.0 μg/kg, ip) significantly reduced paw swelling and mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. CTX also reduced the production of TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-2 but increased the production of IL-10 and altered pathohistological changes. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory efficacy of CTX was significantly reduced by MLA (3 mg/kg, sc).
Conclusion:
These results indicate that CTX has a beneficial effect on CFA-induced arthritis by modulating the production of inflammatory cytokines. α7-nAChR appears to mediate the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory actions of CTX.
doi:10.1038/aps.2008.20
PMCID: PMC4002463  PMID: 19169271
cobratoxin; adjuvant arthritis; anti-inflammatory; anti-nociception; α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
23.  Local Gene Transfer of OPG Prevents Joint Damage and Disease Progression in Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:718061.
This study examined the influence of osteoprotegerin (OPG) gene transfer on a murine collagen-induced arthritis model. A single periarticular injection of AAV-OPG or AAV-LacZ on the arthritic paw successfully incorporated the exogenous gene to the local tissue and resulted in marked transgene expression in the joint homogenate for at least three weeks. Clinical disease scores were significantly improved in OPG treated mice starting at 28-day post-treatment (P < 0.05). Histological assessment demonstrated that OPG gene transfer dramatically protected mice from erosive joint changes compared with LacZ controls (P < 0.05), although treatment appeared less effective on the local inflammatory progress. MicroCT data suggested significant protection against subchondral bone mineral density changes in OPG treated CIA mice. Interestingly, mRNA expressions of IFN-g and MMP3 were noticeably diminished following OPG gene transfer. Overall, gene transfer of OPG effectively inhibited the arthritis-associated periarticular bone erosion and preserved the architecture of arthritic joints, and the study provides evidence that the cartilage protection of the OPG gene therapy may be associated with the down-regulation of MMP3 expression.
doi:10.1155/2013/718061
PMCID: PMC3814078  PMID: 24222748
24.  Etanercept ameliorates inflammation and pain in a novel mono-arthritic multi-flare model of streptococcal cell wall induced arthritis 
Background
The impact of anti-TNF, corticosteroid and analgesic therapy on inflammation and pain was evaluated in a novel mono-arthritic multi-flare rat Streptococcal Cell Wall (SCW) model using Etanercept, Dexamethasone and Buprenorphine.
Methods
Multiple flares of arthritis were induced with an intra-articular injection of SCW in the hind ankle on day 1, followed by intravenous challenges on days 21 and 42. Inflammation and pain were monitored in the hind paws. Cytokine profiling, cell phenotyping, bioluminescence imaging and histopathological evaluation were also performed.
Results
Local injection of SCW caused a rapid onset of inflammation and pain in the injected ankle which resolved within 4 days (Flare 1). Intravenous injection 20 days after sensitization resulted in an increase in ankle diameter and pain, which partially resolved in 8 days (Flare 2). The subsequent intra-venous injection in the same animals 14 days after resulted in a more chronic disease with inflammation and pain persisting over a period of 10 days (Flare 3). In Flare 2, therapeutic administration of Dexamethasone inhibited paw swelling (95%; P<0.001) and pain (55%; P<0.05). Therapeutic administration of Buprenorphine inhibited pain (80%; P<0.001) without affecting paw swelling (0%). Prophylactic administration of Etanercept in Flare 2 inhibited paw swelling (≥60%; P<0.001) and pain by ≥30%. Expression of IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1 and CINC was reduced by >50% (P<0.001). Treatment with Etanercept in Flare 3 inhibited paw swelling by 60% (P<0.001) and pain by 25%. Prior treatment with Etanercept in Flare 2 followed by re-administration in Flare 3 led to a complete loss in the efficacy of Etanercept. Systemic exposure of Etanercept corroborated with lack of efficacy. Dexamethasone inhibited inflammation and pain in both Flares 2 and 3 (P<0.001).
Conclusions
We established a novel multi-flare SCW arthritis model enabling drug intervention in different stages of disease. We show for the first time the evaluation of inflammation and pain simultaneously in this model. Etanercept and Dexamethasone inhibited inflammation, pain and proinflammatory cytokines in this model. Taken together, this model facilitates the assessment of anti-rheumatic agents targeting inflammation and pain in the multiple flare paradigm and offers a powerful tool for drug discovery.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-409
PMCID: PMC4320526  PMID: 25477192
Rheumatoid arthritis; Animal models; Inflammation; Pain; von-Frey; SCW; TNF; Anti-TNF; Etanercept; Cytokines; Immunogenicity
25.  The Effects of Enterococcus faecium and Selenium on Methotrexate Treatment in Rat Adjuvant-induced Arthritis 
The effects of probiotic bacteria Enterococcus faecium (EF) and selenium were studied on methotrexate (MTX) treatment in rats with adjuvant arthritis (AA).
Arthritic rats were preventive treated orally with the following substances: lyophilized EF (15 mg/kg/day, 5 days a week); sodium selenite pentahydrate (SSe, 0.050 mg/kg containing 0.015 mg/kg selenium, 5 days a week); MTX (0.6 mg/kg/week), and their combinations for the period of 50 days from adjuvant application. Levels of serum albumin, serum nitrite/nitrate concentrations, hind paw swelling, arthrogram scores, whole body bone mineral density (BMD), and bone erosions were evaluated as markers of inflammation and destructive changes associated with arthritis.
Long-term preventive treatment with low-dose MTX significantly inhibited the markers of both inflammation and arthritis. EF or SSe when administered singly or in combination had no significant effect on given parameters in arthritic rats. EF but not SSe potentiated the beneficial effects of MTX, which resulted in a more significant reduction of hind paw swelling, arthrogram scores and whole body BMD decrease. EF had a tendency to improve also the effect of MTX on serum albumin and nitrite/nitrate concentrations.
Our results indicate that EF may increase the preventive effect of MTX treatment in rat AA by improving its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects.
doi:10.1080/17402520400001660
PMCID: PMC2486334  PMID: 15559373

Results 1-25 (1159747)