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.
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.
Postmenopausal patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are often treated with corticosteroids. Loss of estrogen, the inflammatory disease and exposure to corticosteroids all contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Therefore, our aim was to investigate if addition of the selective estrogen receptor modulator raloxifene, or estradiol, could prevent loss of bone mineral density in ovariectomized and dexamethasone treated mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
Female DBA/1-mice were ovariectomized or sham-operated, and CIA was induced. Treatment with dexamethasone (Dex) (125 μg/d), estradiol (E2) (1 μg/d) or raloxifene (Ral) (120 μg/day) alone, or the combination of Dex + E2 or Dex + Ral, was started after disease onset, and continued until termination of the experiments. Arthritic paws were collected for histology and one of the femoral bones was used for measurement of bone mineral density.
Dex-treatment alone protected against arthritis and joint destruction, but had no effect on osteoporosis in CIA. However, additional treatment with either Ral or E2 resulted in completely preserved bone mineral density.
Addition of raloxifene or estradiol to dexamethasone-treatment in experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis prevents generalized bone loss.
Raloxifene; Estradiol; Dexamethasone; collagen-induced arthritis; bone mineral density
The goal of the present study was to record changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and markers of bone turnover in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were treated with methotrexate combined (or not combined) with infliximab. Included were 90 patients with RA who required anti-TNF-α therapy with infliximab because of persistent active disease despite treatment with methotrexate. The historical control group included 99 patients with RA who were treated with methotrexate at a time when anti-TNF-α treatment was not yet available. Lumbar and femoral neck BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and 1 year later. Osteocalcin, C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen, parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol were measured in plasma at baseline and 1 year later. At 1 year BMD had decreased in the control group at spine (P < 0.01) and femoral neck (P < 0.001). In contrast, BMD at spine and femoral neck did not change after 1 year of infliximab treatment. At the same time point, no change in bone remodelling markers was observed. No association was observed between clinical response and changes in BMD, indicating that even those who did not respond clinically did not lose bone over a 1-year period. These data confirm the BMD decrease observed in RA patients treated with methotrexate alone. This bone loss was prevented by infliximab therapy. Importantly, this beneficial effect was also observed in apparent nonresponders.
To investigate the therapeutic potential and mechanism of action of the mimotope of PGE2 receptor EP4 (PBP, named by our team) screened by phage displaying technique in the treatment of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA).
Freund's complete adjuvant-induced arthritis was induced in Wistar rats. At the first clinical sign of disease, mice were given with daily injections of PBP or saline for 21 days. Disease progression was monitored by measurement of paw swelling. Inflammation and joint destruction were assessed histologically. The IL-1β and TNF-α were studied by ELISA in the ankle steeps of arthritis model. The degree of proliferation and apoptosis of synoviocytes of RA patients were assessed by CCK-8 kit and AnnexinⅤ-FITC/PI respectively.
PBP-treated animals displayed significantly less cartilage and bone destruction than model controls. Tumor necrosis factor α and IL-1β expression were reduced after PBP treatment. The proliferation and apoptosis of synoviocytes of RA patients were influenced by PBP.
The data support the view that PBP is a potential therapy for RA that may help to diminish both joint inflammation and destruction. And the activities of PBP are related with the effect on synoviocytes directly.
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.
Background: Therapeutic strategies to block tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) activity in experimental autoimmune arthritis models and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have proved highly successful, and provide sustained beneficial effects.
Objective: To examine whether TNFα inhibition has immunological activity beyond the reduction of inflammation in collagen induced arthritis (CIA), an established experimental model of RA.
Methods: Arthritic DBA/1 mice received single periarticular injections of retroviral constructs encoding human TNF receptor (TNF-R) into the affected arthritic paw, at the onset of arthritis. Severity of arthritis, antibodies to collagen type II (CII), and extent of pathological joint damage of arthritic paws were compared between TNF-R and media treated (control) animals 3, 7, 14, 21, and 49 days after disease onset.
Results: Severity of CIA was significantly decreased in TNF-R treated animals compared with controls, 14–34 days after disease onset. Joint destruction was reduced in TNF-R injected joints and in the uninjected contralateral and ipsilateral paws of TNF-R treated animals. Seven days after disease onset, TNF-R treated mice had lower levels of inflammatory Th1 driven IgG2a antibodies to CII (p<0.05) than controls. This altered the anticollagen IgG2a:IgG1 ratio towards Th2 driven IgG1.
Conclusions: Local TNF-R gene therapy in CIA appears to have systemic effects on the anti-CII antibodies. The overall influence of TNF-R gene therapy is that it inhibits the progression of CIA mainly by suppressing the inflammatory Th1 response rather than by stimulating a Th2 response. Therefore, periarticular TNF-R gene therapy may have excellent therapeutic potential in RA.
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.
Anakinra; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Rheumatoid arthritis; Population model
Triptolide, an active compound of Radix Tripterygium wilfordii, is immunosuppressive, cartilage protective and anti-inflammatory both in human and animal studies of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, but its therapeutic mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of triptolide on cartilage cytokines in the CIA model.
Sprague Dawley rats were immunized with type II collagen and orally administered with triptolide. The arthritic scores and incidence changes of the rats were observed. The expression of TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2 and NF-κB in paw cartilage was studied with immunohistochemical staining.
Triptolide, at both high and low doses, significantly lowered the arthritic scores, delayed the onset of arthritis and lowered the arthritis incidence. Triptolide treatment at both high and low doses lowered the expression of TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2 and NF-κB in paw cartilage in arthritic rats.
Triptolide lowers the arthritic scores, delays the onset of collagen induced arthritis and reduces the expressions of TNF-α, IL-6, NF-κB and COX-2 in paw cartilage in arthritic rats.
The potential therapeutic action of shikonin in an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was investigated. As a RA animal model, DBA/1J mice were immunized two times with type II collagen. After the second collagen immunization, mice were orally administered shikonin (2 mg/kg) once a day for 35 days, and the incidence, clinical score, bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC) and joint histopathology were evaluated. BMD in the proximal regions of the tibia largely increased in the shikonin treatment group compared with the control group. We also examined the effect of shikonin on inflammatory cytokines and cartilage protection. Shikonin treatment significantly reduced the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), markedly abrogating joint swelling and cartilage destruction. Shikonin also significantly inhibited the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and up-regulated tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 in mice with CIA. In conclusion, shikonin exerted therapeutic effects through regulation of MMP/TIMP; these results suggest that shikonin is an outstanding candidate as a cartilage protective medicine for RA.
Shikonin; Bone mineral density; Bone mineral contents; MMP-1; TIMP-1
The effects of probiotic bacteria Enterococcus faecium (EF)
and selenium were studied on methotrexate (MTX) treatment in rats with adjuvant
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
rat AA by improving its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects.
To evaluate the incidence of new and/or progressive vertebral deformities and changes in bone mineral density, we re-examined 66 patients with sarcoidosis after a follow-up period of four years. In 17 subjects (26%) new and/or progressive vertebral deformities were found, though BMD did not change significantly.
Previous studies from our group have shown that morphometric vertebral deformities suggestive of fractures can be found in 20% of patients with sarcoidosis, despite a normal bone mineral density (BMD). The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of new and/or progressive vertebral deformities and the evolution of BMD during the course of this disease.
BMD of the hip (DXA) and vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) with lateral single energy densitometry was performed at baseline and after 45 months in 66 patients with sarcoidosis. Potential predictors of new/progressive vertebral deformities were assessed using logistic regression analysis.
The BMD of the total group was unchanged after follow-up. The prevalence of vertebral deformities increased from 20 to 32% ( < 0.05); in 17 subjects (26%) new or progressive vertebral deformities were diagnosed. A lower T-score of the femoral neck [(OR = 2.5 (CI: 1.0-5.9), < 0.05)] and mother with a hip fracture [(OR = 14.1 (CI:1.4-142.6), < 0.05)] were independent predictors of new/progressive deformities.
In subjects with sarcoidosis the number of vertebral deformities increases in the course of this disease, despite unchanged BMD. The combination of low normal BMD and family history of fragility fractures confers an increased risk of the incidence of these deformities.
Bone mineral density; Sarcoidosis; Vertebral deformities
This study was aimed at examining the effect of an ointment containing essential oils (EO) on the severity of adjuvant arthritis (AA), an experimental model of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in Lewis rats and to define the underlying mechanisms. At the onset of AA, rats received topical application twice daily of ointment containing 20% EO or placebo ointment. The synovial fluid (SF) and synovium-infiltrating cells (SIC) of rats were tested for pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β. The hind paws and skin were examined histologically. The activity/level of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and anti-mycobacterial heat-shock protein 65 (Bhsp65) antibodies was tested. Arthritic rats treated with ointment containing EO developed less severe clinical arthritis compared to the controls, and this activity was attributable to EO and not the carrier oil. The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, and the activity of MMPs in SF and SIC-lysate were significantly (p<0.05) reduced in EO-treated arthritic rats compared to the controls. However, the levels of anti-Bhsp65 antibodies were unaffected by treatment. Thus, topical dermal delivery of EO-containing ointment downmodulates the severity of AA in Lewis rats by inhibiting defined mediators of inflammation. Such ointments should be tested in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
Essential oils; Arthritis; Cytokines; Topical application; MMPs; Inflammation
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.
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.
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.
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.
Osteoclasts play a key role in the pathogenesis of bone erosion and systemic bone mass loss during rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of methotrexate (MTX) and zoledronic acid (ZA), used alone or in combination, on osteoclast-mediated bone erosions and systemic bone mass loss in a rat model of collagen induced arthritis (CIA). We hypothesized that MTX and ZA could have an additive effect to prevent both bone erosion and systemic bone loss.
Arthritis was induced in 64 female Sprague-Dawley rats. After the clinical onset of CIA, rats were assigned to treatment with MTX (1 mg/kg/week), ZA (100 μg/kg twice weekly), both treatments at the same regimens, or vehicle. Arthritis score and paw thickness were recorded twice weekly. The rats were sacrificed on D28 and hind paws were removed for radiographic, histological and immunohistochemical analysis. The effects of treatments on osteoclastogenesis were determined by Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. Micro-CT of the tibia was carried out for histomorphometric analysis. Bone mass density was evaluated by densitometry.
MTX significantly decreased the severity of CIA, whereas ZA slightly exacerbated it. When these two drugs were used in combination, MTX prevented the pro-inflammatory effect of ZA. The combination of ZA with MTX was more effective than MTX alone for reducing structural joint damage with a dramatic decrease of osteoclasts' number in the eroded joints. However, MTX alone also significantly reduced the number of osteoclasts and the number of CD68+ mononuclear cells. ZA alone, or ZA with MTX, significantly increased the systemic bone mass density measured by densitometry and bone volume on histomorphometric analysis.
A combination of MTX and ZA prevented both bone erosion and systemic bone loss in a rat model of arthritis. Both treatments independently decreased the number of osteoclasts in the eroded joint. However, while MTX probably acts mainly through a decrease of inflammation, ZA has a direct effect on osteoclasts, allowing a dramatic down-regulation of these cells in inflamed joints. These two different mechanisms of action provide support for the use of a combination of these two drugs to improve the prevention of structural joint damage in RA.
Plectranthus amboinicus (P. amboinicus) is a folk herb that is used to treat inflammatory diseases or swelling symptoms in Taiwan. We investigated therapeutic efficacy of P. amboinicus in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) using collagen-induced arthritis animal model. Arthritis was induced in Lewis rats by immunization with bovine type II collagen. Serum anti-collagen IgG, IgM and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analyzed. To understand the inflammation condition of treated animals, production of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β from peritoneal exudates cells (PEC) were also analyzed. P. amboinicus significantly inhibited the footpad swelling and arthritic symptoms in collagen-induced arthritic rats, while the serum anti-collagen IgM and CRP levels were consistently decreased. The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β were also decreased in the high dosage of P. amboinicus group. Here, we demonstrate the potential anti-arthritic effect of P. amboinicus for treating RA, which might confer its anti-rheumatic activity. This differs the pharmacological action mode of indomethacin.
collagen; rheumatoid; arthritis; herbal medicine; inflammation
We evaluated the efficacy of oral alendronate with different dosing regimens for non-nociceptive symptoms and osteoporosis in a sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI) model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=60) were subdivided into sham control (SC) group and CCI groups, which were divided according to dosage and time of oral alendronate administration: no treatment (NT), low dosage early (LE), high dosage early (HE), low dosage late (LL) and high dosage late (HL). We measured the thickness and temperature of the hind paw, bone mineral density (BMD) of the tibia, along with tibia bone strength. On the 14th day post-CCI, the HE group showed significant reduction in thickness and temperature (P<0.001). On the 42nd day post-CCI, the HE group showed significant reduction in temperature compared to the NT group (P<0.001). Also, both HE and HL groups showed statistically significant increased tibia BMD (P<0.001), along with increase of tibia bone strength compared to the NT group. Based on these findings, early alendronate in high dosages is effective in the non-nociceptive symptoms; early and late alendronate in high dosages, are effective in preventing bone dystrophic changes in a CCI model.
Chronic Constriction; Edema; Temperature; Alendronate; Bone Density
Endosomal toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently emerged as potential contributors to the inflammation observed in human and rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to evaluate the role of endosomal TLRs and in particular TLR7 in the murine collagen induced arthritis (CIA) model.
CIA was induced by injection of collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. To investigate the effect of endosomal TLRs in the CIA model, mianserin was administered daily from the day of disease onset. The specific role of TLR7 was examined by inducing CIA in TLR7-deficient mice. Disease progression was assessed by measuring clinical score, paw swelling, serum anti-collagen antibodies histological parameters, cytokine production and the percentage of T regulatory (Treg) cells.
Therapeutic administration of mianserin to arthritic animals demonstrated a highly protective effect on paw swelling and joint destruction. TLR7-/- mice developed a mild arthritis, where the clinical score and paw swelling were significantly compromised in comparison to the control group. The amelioration of arthritis by mianserin and TLR7 deficiency both corresponded with a reduction in IL-17 responses, histological and clinical scores, and paw swelling.
These data highlight the potential role for endosomal TLRs in the maintenance of inflammation in RA and support the concept of a role for TLR7 in experimental arthritis models. This study also illustrates the potential benefit that may be afforded by therapeutically inhibiting the endosomal TLRs in RA.
Rats are used to model human corticospinal tract (CST) injury and repair. We asked whether rats possess the ability to orient their paw to the reaching target and whether the CST mediates this skill, as it does in primates. To test this ability, called preshaping, we trained rats to reach for pieces of pasta oriented either vertically or horizontally. We measured paw angle relative to the target and asked whether rats used target information attained before contact to preshape the paw, indicating feed-forward control. We also determined if preshaping improved with practice. We then selectively lesioned the CST in the medullary pyramid contralateral to the reaching forepaw to test whether preshaping relies on the CST. Rats significantly oriented their paw to the pasta orientation before contact, demonstrating feed-forward control. Both preshaping and reaching efficiency improved with practice, while selective CST lesion abrogated both. The loss of preshaping was greatest for pasta oriented vertically, suggesting loss of supination, as seen with human CST injury. The degree of preshaping loss strongly correlated with the amount of skill acquired at baseline, suggesting that the CST mediates the learned component of preshaping. Finally, the amount of preshaping lost after injury strongly correlated with reduced retrieval success, showing an important functional consequence for preshaping. Thus, we demonstrate, for the first time, preshaping in the rat, and dependence of this skill on the CST. Understanding the basis for this skill and measuring its recovery after injury will be important for studying higher-level motor control in rats.
Motor learning; motor control; injury; repair; motor cortex; activity
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic progressive, inflammatory and destructive autoimmune disease, characterised by synovial joint inflammation and bone erosion. To better understand the pathophysiology and underlying immune mechanisms of RA various models of arthritis have been developed in different inbred strains of mice. Establishment of arthritis models with components of adaptive immunity in the C57BL/6J strain of mice has been difficult, and since most genetically modified mice are commonly bred on this background, there is a need to explore new ways of obtaining robust models of arthritis in this strain. This study was undertaken to establish and characterise a novel murine model of arthritis, the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH)-arthritis model, and evaluate whether disease can be treated with compounds currently used in the treatment of RA.
DTH-arthritis was induced by eliciting a classical DTH reaction in one paw with methylated bovine serum albumin (mBSA), with the modification that a cocktail of type II collagen monoclonal antibodies was administered between the immunisation and challenge steps. Involved cell subsets and inflammatory mediators were analysed, and tissue sections evaluated histopathologically. Disease was treated prophylactically and therapeutically with compounds used in the treatment of RA.
We demonstrate that DTH-arthritis could be induced in C57BL/6 mice with paw swelling lasting for at least 28 days and that disease induction was dependent on CD4+ cells. We show that macrophages and neutrophils were heavily involved in the observed pathology and that a clear profile of inflammatory mediators associated with these cell subsets was induced locally. In addition, inflammatory markers were observed systemically. Furthermore, we demonstrate that disease could be both prevented and treated.
Our findings indicate that DTH-arthritis shares features with both collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and human RA. DTH-arthritis is dependent on CD4+ cells for induction and can be successfully treated with TNFα-blocking biologics and dexamethasone. On the basis of our findings we believe that the DTH-arthritis model could hold potential in the preclinical screening of novel drugs targeting RA. The model is highly reproducible and has a high incidence rate with synchronised onset and progression, which strengthens its potential.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age-related joint disease that is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and chronic pain. Oxidative stress is considered one of the pathophysiological factors in the progression of OA. We investigated the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), which is an antioxidant, on monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced arthritis of the knee joint of rat, which is an animal model of human OA. GSPE (100 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg) or saline was given orally three times per week for 4 weeks after the MIA injection. Pain was measured using the paw withdrawal latency (PWL), the paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and the hind limb weight bearing ability. Joint damage was assessed using histological and microscopic analysis and microcomputerized tomography. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13) and nitrotyrosine were detected using immunohistochemistry. Administration of GSPE to the MIA-treated rats significantly increased the PWL and PWT and this resulted in recovery of hind paw weight distribution (P < 0.05). GSPE reduced the loss of chondrocytes and proteoglycan, the production of MMP13, nitrotyrosine and IL-1β and the formation of osteophytes, and it reduced the number of subchondral bone fractures in the MIA-treated rats. These results indicate that GSPE is antinociceptive and it is protective against joint damage in the MIA-treated rat model of OA. GSPE could open up novel avenues for the treatment of OA.
antioxidants; grape seed proanthocyanidins; inflammation; interleukin-1β; osteoarthritis
Objective: To examine the therapeutic activity of hydrophilic glucocorticoid encapsulated in PLGA nanoparticles, which have shown slow release and are targeted to inflamed joints after intravenous administration, in experimental arthritis models.
Methods: Betamethasone sodium phosphate (BSP) encapsulated in PLGA nanoparticles with a size of 100–200 nm (PLGA-nanosteroid) was prepared using a modified oil in water emulsion solvent diffusion method with Zn ions and coated with lecithin. Rats with adjuvant arthritis (AA rats) and mice with anti-type II collagen antibody induced arthritis (AbIA mice) were treated intravenously with PLGA-nanosteroid after the initial sign of arthritis.
Results: In AA rats, a 30% decrease in paw inflammation was obtained in 1 day and maintained for 1 week with a single injection of 100 µg of PLGA-nanosteroid. Soft x ray examination 7 days after this treatment showed decreased soft tissue swelling. Moreover, the PLGA-nanosteroid was also highly effective in AbIA mice. A single injection of 30 µg of the PLGA-nanosteroid resulted in almost complete remission of the inflammatory response after 1 week. In contrast, the same dose of free BSP after three administrations only moderately reduced the severity of inflammation. In addition, a histological examination 7 days after the treatment showed a significant decrease of the inflammatory cells in the joints.
Conclusion: The observed strong therapeutic benefit obtained with PLGA-nanosteroid may be due to the targeting of the inflamed joint and its prolonged release in situ. Targeted drug delivery using a sustained release PLGA-nanosteroid is a successful intervention in experimental arthritis.
Autoimmune inflammation is a characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases. In the natural course of human autoimmune diseases, it is rather difficult to pinpoint the precise timing of the initial event that triggers the cascade of pathogenic events that later culminate into clinically overt disease. Therefore, it is a challenge to examine the early preclinical events in these disorders. Animal models are an invaluable resource in this regard. Furthermore, considering the complex nature of the pathogenic immune events in arthritis, microarray analysis offers a versatile tool to define the dynamic patterns of gene expression during the disease course.
In this study, we defined the profiles of gene expression at different phases of adjuvant arthritis (AA) in Lewis rats and compared them with those of antigen mycobacterial heat shock protein 65 (Bhsp65)-tolerized syngeneic rats. Purified total RNA (100 ng) extracted from the draining lymph node cells was used to generate biotin-labeled fragment cRNA, which was then hybridized with an oligonucleotide-based DNA microarray chip. Significance analysis of microarrays was used to compare gene expression levels between the two different groups by limiting the false discovery rate to < 5%. Some of the data were further analyzed using a fold change ≥2.0 as the cutoff. The gene expression of select genes was validated by quantitative real-time PCR.
Intriguingly, the most dramatic changes in gene expression in the draining lymphoid tissue ex vivo were observed at the preclinical (incubation) phase of the disease. The affected genes represented many of the known proteins that participate in the cellular immune response. Interestingly, the preclinical gene expression profile was significantly altered by a disease-modulating, antigen-based tolerogenic regimen. The changes mostly included upregulation of several genes, suggesting that immune tolerance suppressed disease by activating disease-regulating pathways. We identified a molecular signature comprising at least 12 arthritis-related genes altered by Bhsp65-induced tolerance.
This is the first report of microarray analysis in the rat AA model. The results of this study not only advance our understanding of the early phase events in autoimmune arthritis but also help in identifying potential targets for the immunomodulation of RA.
adjuvant arthritis; gene expression; heat shock proteins; immune tolerance; microarray analysis
CP-690550 is a small molecule inhibitor of Janus kinase 3 (JAK3), a critical enzyme in the signaling pathway of multiple cytokines (interleukin (IL)-2, -7, -15 and -21) that are important in various T cell functions including development, activation and homeostasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate CP-690550 in murine collagen-induced (CIA) and rat adjuvant-induced (AA) models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
CIA and AA were induced using standard protocols and animals received the JAK3 inhibitor via osmotic mini-pump infusion at doses ranging from 1.5–15 mg/kg/day following disease induction. Arthritis was assessed by clinical scores in the CIA models and paw swelling monitored using a plethysmometer in the AA model until study conclusion, at which time animals were killed and evaluated histologically.
CP-690550 dose-dependently decreased endpoints of disease in both RA models with greater than 90% reduction observed at the highest administered dose. An approximate ED50 of approximately 1.5 mg/kg/day was determined for the compound based upon disease endpoints in both RA models examined and corresponds to CP-690550 serum levels of 5.8 ng/ml in mice (day 28) and 24 ng/ml in rats (day 24). The compound also reduced inflammatory cell influx and joint damage as measured histologically. Animals receiving a CP-690550 dose of 15 mg/k/d showed no histological evidence of disease.
The efficacy observed with CP-690550 in CIA and AA suggests JAK3 inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of RA.
To examine whether treatment with anti‐tumour necrosis factor (TNF) α prevents loss of bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and hip (generalised) and in the hands (local) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and to study the changes in markers of bone metabolism, including receptor activator of the NFκB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG), during anti‐TNF treatment.
Patients and methods
102 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis, who were treated with infliximab during 1 year, were included in this open cohort study. The BMD of the spine and hip (dual x ray absorptiometry ) and hands dual x ray radiogrammetry was measured before the start of treatment and after 1 year. Changes in osteocalcin formation, β‐isomerised carboxy terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (β‐CTx, resorption), RANKL and OPG were determined at 0, 14, 30 and 46 weeks.
The BMD of the spine and hip was unchanged during treatment with infliximab, whereas BMD of the hand decreased significantly by 0.8% (p<0.01). The BMD of the hip in patients with a good European League Against Rheumatism response showed a favourable change compared with patients not achieving such a response. Serum β‐CTx and RANKL were both considerably decreased compared with baseline at all time points. The decrease in β‐CTx was associated with the decrease in Disease Activity Score of 28 joints and C reactive protein during the 0–14 weeks interval.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with infliximab, spine and hip bone loss is arrested, whereas metacarpal cortical hand bone loss is not stopped. The outcome of the study also supports a relationship between clinical response, in terms of reduced inflammatory activity, and changes in bone loss of the spine, hip and hands.